For some additional perspective on the fight for tuition equity in New Jersey, check out last week’s story on the PBS NewsHour. The segment features Cynthia Cruz, who is being punished for illegally entering the United States when she was 22 months old. The punishment? Even though she’s a graduate of a New Jersey high school, Cynthia is being effectively denied the chance for a college education. It’s a case of “blame the parents but punish the child.”
Students like Cynthia don’t want special treatment or a tuition discount; all they want is a chance to pay the same in-state tuition rates available to their high school classmates. If given this chance, they can repay the investment New Jersey taxpayers made in their K-12 education by continuing with their education and finding better jobs that will help grow New Jersey’s economy. But too often DREAMers like Cynthia Cruz are priced out of higher education and take low-skill jobs that don’t match their potential.
If the legislators in Texas, Oklahoma, Utah and Kansas see the sense of giving their undocumented students a shot at college, couldn’t their peers in New Jersey do the same thing and do it this year?
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