New Jersey has one of the largest immigrant populations of any state in the union, and a recent decision by its Republican governor, Chris Christie, will have an impact on many people who are living there without documentation.
Christie accused of “flip-flop”
During his run for re-election earlier this year, Christie said that he supported legislation that would grant in-state tuition privileges to undocumented immigrants, a law commonly referred to as the DREAM Act. That support was a big part of the reason Christie was able to garner 50 percent of the Latino vote in the November election, according to HispanicBusiness.com.
However, Christie has also signaled his disapproval of a version of the DREAM Act that is currently working its way through the state legislature. He informed the Democrat-controlled body that he would not sign the legislation as it is currently written, citing the fact that it guarantees financial aid to undocumented college students along with other measures that he feels grant them too many privileges. The legislature declined to make Christie’s suggested amendments, which has led to a stalemate between the two sides.
That apparent change in attitude on Christie’s part led the Star-Ledger to accuse him of “flip-flopping” on the issue in an effort to secure the Republican nomination for president in 2016.
Christie responds to accusation
The issue of whether Christie is positioning himself for a presidential run in 2016 is one that has been brought up numerous times during his tenure as governor, but he has consistently denied that those political prospects represent any sort of motivation for him.
In an interview he gave on Monday, Dec. 2, Christie addressed the controversy by saying, “I didn’t support any particular piece of legislation, and I still support tuition equality,” according to a transcript of the interview. “Here’s what I don’t support: I don’t support tuition aid grants in addition to in-state tuition rates; never said that I did, and don’t as we stand here today.”