A New Jersey college student's immigration status will no longer play a factor into whether that student is eligible for certain in-state financial aid.
College students who are unauthorized immigrants in the state are already allowed to pay for their Garden State college classes at in-state rates. Former Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, gave thousands of students who grew up in New Jersey but are in the country illegally that ability in 2013.
Now, Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, took the measure a step further when he signed a bill into law Wednesday that would let some of those students be eligible for financial aid -- something Christie refused to go along with.
These students, who have to have applied to legalize their immigration status in to be eligible, could receive the aid as soon as this fall.
"This is the world's melting pot where people in every part of the globe can come here in the hope of a new life," Murphy said, celebrating the diversity at Rutgers University in Newark where he signed the bill.
The bill sparked controversy when it made its way through the Democratic-controlled Legislature. Republican lawmakers blasted the legislation as a measure that gives a leg up over New Jerseyans who are here in the state legally.