Student Aid For Undocumented Is Both Unaffordable To The State And Unfair To Citizens
I'm Standing up for Those who Respect our Laws
A few days ago I took a stand on the floor of the State Assembly that didn't win me any friends amongst the predominantly Democratic body. That stand was in defense of a very simple belief: that citizens of the United States should be treated as well or better than non-citizens who happen to be in our country.
Unfortunately, the Assembly Democrats disagree, and voted to give individuals here illegally state tuition grants that aren't available to, for example, a US citizen who defended our nation in the Armed Forces. They also took those grants from New Jersey citizens and gave them to non-citizens. This is, simply put, wrong.
We are a compassionate State and want to see every student succeed and reach his or her full potential. But we have limited resources, and already provide enormous educational benefits to non-citizens. Compassion does not compel us to provide limitless public benefits to anyone who finds himself within our borders.
Further, American citizenship is a unique and special distinction that is recognized, respected, dreamed of, and even envied around the globe. As a nation, it must mean something to us, otherwise there would be no reason for anyone to pursue or care for that special status. Each incremental infringement on the status we as citizens of the United States enjoy erodes the meaning of the word “citizen” and blurs the line between those who play by the rules and those who do not. And that, in turn, undermines what it means to be a nation, which is bad for everyone who lives here, citizen and non-citizen alike.
I was proud to stand up for citizenship and common sense, and will always do so.
See my remarks in full here: