This Week in Immigration Reform: New Jersey and ‘Welcoming America’

A short Thanksgiving week makes for a light load on the state and local immigration front, so here we go.

In New Jersey, all eyes turn to Governor Chris Christie and the Senate-approved Dream Act offering undocumented students in-state tuition. During a Monday radio interview, Christie alluded he would not sign the current bill, saying, “not only are there technical problems with it that need to be fixed, but they’re also making the benefits richer than the federal program and the federal Dream Act.  And that’s simply not acceptable to me.” 

Christie’s major objection revolves around a potential “loophole that would allow immigrant students from other states who attend boarding schools in New Jersey to qualify for in-state tuition at state colleges and universities.”  Supporters of the proposal are asking Christie to clarify his position and are frustrated over his inconsistent support for the bill’s principles.

A must-see piece from the last week comes from the Christian Science Monitor. The article discusses policy efforts of places like Tucson and the 22 “Welcoming America” cities to create friendly atmospheres for its immigrants. 

On Long Island, Newsday recapped the successful campaigns of Salvadoran, Haitian, and South Asian candidates in last month’s elections.

Boston’s mayor-elect Marty Walsh recently detailed some of his immigration-related plans, including potential support of a California-style Trust Act, limited participation in Secure Communities, and a formal integration effort.

Immigrants who left Arizona for New Mexico in light of SB 1070 are returning to the state, citing declining economic opportunities in the Land of Enchantment.

And finally, the fate of Alabama’s restrictive HB 56 was sealed after a U.S. district judge signed the lawsuit’s settlement, “with seven provisions of the law permanently blocked.”