By TOM CICCOTTA
A local news report revealed that the state of New Jersey awarded $3.8 million in financial aid to illegal immigrants during the 2018-2019 school year.
According to a report from NJ.com, the state of New Jersey gave $3.8 million in financial aid to 749 illegal immigrant students in the last academic year. More than a quarter of the funding went to 328 illegal immigrants that attend Rutgers University.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a law last year that allowed illegal immigrants to apply for financial aid. Prior to the signing, illegal immigrants were permitted to apply to pay in-state tuition at public universities but they were not eligible for financial aid.
Murphy, who supports the spending, hit back at Republican critics by arguing that giving financial aid to illegal immigrants is compatible with American values.
“I’d even invite any of those folks who have that attitude, beginning with our president, to come on into this room and allow me or any of us to say, ‘This is the United States of America,’” Murphy said at the time.
David J. Socolow, executive director of the state’s Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, defended the state’s decision to offer financial aid to illegal immigrants.
“This financial assistance offers these New Jersey students a life-changing opportunity,” Socolow said in a brief comment.“The successes of these first 513 students, who are now attending county colleges, state colleges and universities, and independent institutions around the state, will have a positive impact on countless additional lives.”
According to the report, there is currently no limit on the amount of illegal immigrant students that are permitted to receive financial aid from the state of New Jersey. State lawmakers forecast that they will spend approximately $5 million on financial aid for illegal immigrants each year.