Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill Wednesday making in-state financial aid available for New Jersey college students known as dreamers who arrived in the United States as undocumented immigrants as children.
President Trump has moved to end the Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals program, which provides two-year renewable work permits and Social Security numbers to undocumented immigrants. DACA protects dreamers from deportation.
Many young adults chanted “we want justice for our dreamers” and held signs bearing slogans to this effect.
Murphy took this action at the Rutgers University Newark campus, calling it the most diverse campus in the nation.
“I will fight tooth and nail for our families and children,” Murphy said. “Our dreamers are just as much New Jerseyans as my and Tammy’s four kids.”
Murphy said Rutgers University enrolls 471 dreamers across its campuses who were until now not eligible for in-state tuition assistance. Another 288 dreamers attend other New Jersey colleges.
“The time has long past for President Trump to enact long-term permanent protections for DACA protections,” he said.
Rutgers Newark Chancellor Nancy Cantor welcomed dreamers to her campus.
“The breadth of support for dreamers is matched by the majority of Americans,” Cantor said. “We are changing the map of opportunity in Newark. This is giving life and strength to our country.”
Esder Chong is a Rutgers University students and leads the RU Dreamers club. Born in South Korea and raised in Highland Park, N.J., Chong thanked legislators for standing up for dreamers.
“Our federal government targets us,” Chong said. “Today we become the tenth state in the nation to expand financial aid for students who are undocumented and DACA recipients. Today we say enough is enough and we are here to stay.”