Deal struck on N.J. tuition break for some undocumented immigrants

 Supporters react to Dream Act agreement at Statehouse news conference (Phil Gregory/for NewsWorks)

Supporters react to Dream Act agreement at Statehouse news conference (Phil Gregory/for NewsWorks)

Gov. Chris Christie and the Democrats who control the New Jersey Legislature have reached agreement on the Dream Act.

The legislation allows undocumented immigrants to be eligible for lower in-state college tuition if they attended high school in New Jersey for at least three years and graduated.

Tuition assistance grants were eliminated from the legislation because that’s too costly and would have been a magnet for undocumented immigrant students from other states, Christie said.

“This is what compromise looks like,” he said. “And I’ll be waiting for all the apology letters to come in from all the people who said that I was not serious about tuition equality.”

Christie intends to sign the bill into law Friday.

Compromise was necessary to get the provisions in place now, said Senate President Steve Sweeney.

“Young people will not have to pay double tuition but understand we will not stop the quest to make this completely equal,” he said.

Sweeney, D-Gloucester, said Democrats will continue to push for the tuition assistance grants in the future.

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