on December 01, 2013 at 8:30 AM
If Gov. Chris Christie thinks voters won’t notice if he promises one thing when he’s running for governor, then another when he’s running for president, he’s dreaming.
Yet that’s what he appears to be doing when it comes to the Dream Act. When the governor was seeking the Latino vote weeks ago, he assured advocates he’d support New Jersey’s version of this bill.
But now that he’s been re-elected with 51 percent of the Hispanic vote, he’s backpedaling. Christie told a radio station last week that he would not sign the Dream Act, which passed the state Senate and is expected to be taken up soon by the Assembly, for reasons that make no sense.
First he claimed New Jersey’s program would be “richer than the federal program,” when in fact they deal with two entirely different issues: The federal bill creates a pathway to citizenship, while New Jersey’s allows “dreamers” to pay in-state tuition and become eligible for financial aid.
His other excuse was that out-of-state residents would be eligible for in-state tuition if they went to a private high school in New Jersey. Think about this: He’s saying we should scrap this bill because someone might come to our pricey boarding schools from out of state, then decide to go to a public college and get in-state tuition. How many students could this possibly apply to?
Christie says he won’t sign on until legislators fix this, but the bill was purposely written that way, so it does not violate a federal law that bans offering immigrants without legal status anything that is not offered to citizens.
The real reason for his flip-flop? Christie has his eyes on the presidency. And if he has to roll over Latinos to get there, he’ll do it.