New Jersey's 10th Legislative District

Holzapfel, McGuckin & Catalano

District 10 (2018)

Holzapfel, Wolfe & McGuckin Criticize Bill Allowing Undocumented Immigrants Access to State Student Financial Aid

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District 10 Legislators: Less Financial Aid Will Be Available for Students Who Follow the Rules

Senator Jim Holzapfel, Assemblyman David Wolfe, and Assemblyman Gregory McGuckin of the 10th Legislative District criticized legislation approved by the New Jersey Senate that would allow undocumented immigrants access to college state financial aid programs.

Sen. James Holzapfel, Asm. David Wolfe, and Asm. Gregory McGuckin (R-10) criticized legislation approved by the NJ Senate that would allow undocumented immigrants to access college state financial aid programs. (©iStock)

“New Jersey is already one of 20 states that offer in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants,” Holzapfel said. “They’re already getting a big discount on their tuition bills at taxpayer expense. To provide additional financial aid to undocumented immigrants is neither economically feasible nor wise. The pot of money for these programs is only so big, so we should prioritize the limited aid available to college students who follow the rules.”

The bill, S-699, would extend benefits granting undocumented immigrants access to any student financial aid program administered by the state’s Higher Education Student Assistance Authority or the New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education.

“New Jersey students are struggling to afford college even with the various federal and state financial aid programs, including TAG,” Wolfe remarked. “Extending state aid to undocumented immigrants will either reduce a critical pool of college funding for those who ‘play by the rules,’ or increase taxes by $4.47 million, according to the non-partisan Office of Legislative Services fiscal estimate.

New Jersey currently ranks ninth in the nation for student loan debt and the worst in the country for college student outmigration.

“65 percent of New Jersey high school students are choosing to receive their college education outside of our state,” McGuckin added. “This ‘brain drain’ of talent is hurting New Jersey’s workforce and competitive edge. Meanwhile, New Jerseyans who choose to attend college in state are graduating with more than $30,000 in debt. We should work on legislation to make our state’s colleges more attractive and more affordable for our state’s high school students, not efforts like this that could make it even more expensive.”

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