New Jersey bishops support tuition legislation that would benefit immigrants

TRENTON – The Catholic bishops of New Jersey Nov. 12 called for the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly to pass in-state tuition legislation that would allow certain documented and undocumented immigrants, who meet a set of strict criteria, to access in-state tuition rates at New Jersey’s public colleges and universities.
On Thursday Nov. 14, a representative from the New Jersey Catholic Conference was scheduled to testify before the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee in favor of S2479, an in-state tuition bill.
In their statement, the bishops say, “These young students are New Jerseyans. They worship at our parishes, are graduating from our schools, and are members of our youth groups. These students should be given the same opportunity that their classmates and neighbors are being given.”
The bishops reference Scripture, which tells Christians to welcome the stranger, serve the poor, protect human dignity, respect all life, and protect the unity of families. They claim no political agenda, saying they speak only as spiritual and moral leaders.
They acknowledge that in-state tuition legislation is just one step – but an important one – in the right direction of fixing a broken system.
The statement is signed by Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark, Coadjutor Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda of Newark, Bishop Dennis Sullivan and the other Catholic bishops of New Jersey.
The bishops of the United States continue to encourage elected officials at both the federal and state level to pass legislation that would reform the nation’s immigration system justly and compassionately.

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