APRIL 25, 2011
New Jersey’s largest newspaper is accusing officials at a public college in Randolph of being“cowardly” and “gutless” for reversing a controversial policy offering illegal immigrants discounted tuition after Judicial Watch challenged it.Amid strong opposition, trustees at the County College of Morris, a two-year school with an enrollment of about 9,000, voted earlier this year to give illegal aliens cheaper in-state tuition even though New Jersey’s legislature had rejected a measure that would have granted undocumented students the perk at all public institutions of higher learning.The County College of Morris passed its own policy to help an “increasing number of students” who could not be educated at the school, according to its president. The move could not have come at a worst time, in the midst of a dire financial crisis that has negatively impacted public education at every level in the Garden State.Judicial Watch quickly challenged the measure, pointing out to college trustees in a letter that illegal immigrants are ineligible for state and local public benefits such as discounted tuition under federal law. Under intense pressure, the County College of Morris responded by saying that it would “reevaluate” its new illegal alien tuition policy by this month. Last week trustees reversed the contentious measure, angering immigration advocates and New Jersey’s biggest newspaper.In a scathing editorial published this week, the Star-Ledger calls the reversal a victory for the“pitch-fork and torch brigade” that will shape immigration policy if Congress doesn’t pass amnesty legislation. The piece accuses those who oppose illegal immigration of making life as “difficult and miserable as possible” for “each and every” illegal immigrant in the United States“no matter the cost to immigrant families or the communities where they live and work.”It further points out that, by charging illegal aliens the much higher out-of-state tuition, colleges “close the door on many undocumented teenagers who aspire to better things.” After all, they were brought to this country without any say in the matter, the editorial says. “But it seems there’s not enough punishment to go around for families and their children already forced to live in the shadows.”Judicial Watch has been a frontrunner in efforts to stop the use of public funds to promote illegal immigration. Earlier this year Judicial Watch filed a taxpayer lawsuit against Maryland’sMontgomery College for unlawfully offering discounted tuition rates to illegal aliens who graduate from local high schools. The policy violates both Maryland and federal law and places a substantial financial burden on Montgomery County taxpayers, who subsidize the cost of students attending the community college.
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