Resolution Supporting Legislation for Resident Immigrant Tuition Equity (Oct 2013)

PCDO Resolution

Supporting Legislation for Resident Immigrant Tuition Equity

A4225, S2479, and A3162

WHEREAS, currently first generation immigrants who are New Jersey residents, but are not U.S. citizens, are treated as foreigners and must pay out-of-state tuition to attend public institutions of higher education; and

WHEREAS, second-generation immigrants who were born in the U.S. and hold an American citizenship, but whose parents are not in the U.S. legally, are treated as foreigners and are denied financial aid even if they otherwise qualify for it; and

WHEREAS, out-of-state tuition to New Jersey colleges and universities is considerably higher than in-state tuition; for example Cumberland County Community College charges out-of-state students over three (3) times the in-state tuition rate; Rutgers University charges more than twice as much; and

WHEREAS, under A4225/S2479 (called the Tuition Equality Act), student applicants must demonstrate their residency by having attended a New Jersey high school for at least three years; and 

WHEREAS, under A3162 (called the Higher Education Citizenship Equality Act), U.S. citizen children of unauthorized parents residing in New Jersey will be eligible for state financial aid on  the same terms as other NJ residents, regardless of their parents’ immigration status; and

WHEREAS, it is inherently unfair to exclude young people who are raised as Americans and are New Jersey residents, from educational opportunity solely on the basis of their or their parents immigration status; and

WHEREAS, it is in the best interests of all New Jerseyans that all New Jersey resident students who excel academically and want to pursue higher education be given the same opportunities as all other New Jersey residents regardless of their immigration status; and

WHEREAS, we recognize that except for those among us who are Native Americans, we are all immigrants or descendants of immigrants; and

WHEREAS, young immigrants are New Jersey's future; without immigrants and their children New Jersey would experience loss of population and a shrinking economy; and by acquiring a higher education immigrants and the children of immigrants will have higher paying jobs and  thus pay higher taxes, increasing State and Federal revenues; and

WHEREAS, most of these young people are bilingual and will reinforce the state's competitiveness in an increasingly global economy, and

WHEREAS, the NJ President’s Council, on behalf of all the presidents of the state’s colleges and universities, has adopted a resolution in support of this legislation, and.

WHEREAS, 15 states have passed similar bills: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon,  Texas, Utah, and Washington State.



That the Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) supports the provision of in-state tuition to students who have attended high school in New Jersey for at least three years, and graduated, and who file to legalize their immigration status, regardless of the status of their parents, as well as access by these students to financial aid for which they otherwise qualify; and

That the PCDO supports the passage of A4225, S2479, and A3162 as amended; and

That the PCDO is very aware of the social, cultural and economic contributions of immigrants and the importance of integrating them into the social and economic fabric of our community; and

That the PCDO has concluded that it is important to the economy to provide equitable access to higher education to young immigrants raised and educated in the U.S; and

That the PCDO believes that an educated population is better prepared to be a productive population rather than a burden to society; and

That copies of this resolution are to be distributed to state and local leaders and agencies, including the Governor, State Legislative Officials, the Mayor of Princeton and Princeton Council, and the Princeton Public Schools Board, as listed below.

Dated Passed by Executive Board:  September 7, 2013_____  

Date Passed by Membership: _________________________       



Jon Durbin, President

Princeton Community Democratic Organization


Governor Chris Christie

Senator Kip Bateman

Assemblyman Frank Ciatarelli

Assemblywoman Donna Simon


Mayor Liz Lempert

Members of the Princeton Council

            Bernie Miller, President

            Jo Butler

            Jenny Crumiller

            Heather Howard

            Patrick Simon

            Lance Liverman


Judy Wilson, Superintendent, Princeton Schools District

Members of the Princeton Schools Board

            Tim Quinn, President

            Andrea Spalla

            Dorothy Bedford

            Molly Chrein

            Dan Houghton           

            Afsheen Shamsi

            Rebecca Cox

            Martha Land

            Patrick Sullivan

Evelyn Spann

Adam Ainslie

KC Reed-Fischer