From NIOT board member Wilma:

This came from the League of Women Voters. It’s about a bill to allow undocumented grads of local high schools to be charged the same tuition as other instate students. The bill’s name is A194/S1036 and it is scheduled for a crucial vote on Monday, January 11.

The LWV asks “Could you please make it a priority today to contact Senator Shirley Turner’s office and ask her to support this bill?” Her office phone number is: (609) 530-3277. Here is a link with more information on the bill and how to find your senator’s telephone number.

“This bill has hidden economic aspects — more community college revenues, for example, as per the powerful testimony of Bergen Community College trustee Cid Wilson. We call it a win-win bill for New Jersey,” says the LWV supporter.

How will undocumented students be able to work legally after they graduate? According to this supporter, “this is a tiny bill that will help 600 to 2,000 undocumented students afford to attend college at the same tuition rate as their NJ peers. They will have no access to financial aid programs such as NJ Stars or Pell Grants.”

Also, “many of these “undocumenteds” have started the process of naturalization with INS, but they are caught in a years’ long wait, especially since 9/11. These students are most likely to stay in NJ with their families and make their homes here… and we can only hope that by the time the federal government finally devises how to normalize their status, one hopes they will be well-educated New Jersey taxpayers.”

Read more about this bill under “Immigrant Rights” at New Jersey Regional Coalition