Resolution Approved Amid Concern about Trump Policies
(TRENTON) – Legislation Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, Assembly Speaker Emeritus Sheila Oliver, Assemblyman Gordon Johnson and Assemblywoman Marlene Caride sponsored expressing the Legislature’s intent that schools, colleges and universities continue to act as safe zones and resource centers for students and families threatened by immigration or discrimination was approved 23-13 Monday by the Senate, giving it final legislative approval.
The resolution (ACR-227) was approved by the Assembly in February and expresses the Legislature’s intent:
· That school districts and public institutions of higher education continue to serve as safe zones and resource centers for students and families threatened by immigration or discrimination; and
· That school districts and public institutions of higher education continue to protect the data and identities of undocumented students, family members, and school employees who may be adversely affected by future federal policies or executive action that results in the collection of personally identifiable information.
“New Jersey is the home and workplace of large immigrant communities and history has demonstrated the significant contributions that these communities have made to the state,” said Quijano (D-Union). “New Jersey has a long history of supporting persons who seek to escape hardship and deprivation to find a better life for themselves and their children. In return for its support, the state has benefited from the many contributions that immigrants have made to the economic and cultural growth of the state. Especially now – in the face of President Trump’s hostile actions – this history of support must continue.”
“Since the conclusion of the 2016 presidential election, schools, public institutions of higher education and the students and families they serve have raised increased concern about the possibility of impending federal action that may impact undocumented students and their families,” said Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic). “As a result of this heightened concern, New Jersey voices support for their intent to continue to act as safe zones and resource centers for students and families threatened by discrimination. Today we made it clear – we do not share President Trump’s values.”
“Education plays a critical role in furthering tolerance and strengthening our nation, and New Jersey has a proud history as a state that has acted to support its thorough and efficient system of free public schools as well as its college and university system, and to ensure that any resident who seeks a better life through the benefits that an education provides will have the state’s support in that effort,” said Johnson (D-Bergen). “That’s why it’s fitting and proper that the Legislature express its intent that New Jersey’s school districts and public institutions of higher education follow the example that has been demonstrated across the country to reaffirm support for undocumented students and their families.”
“In 2013 the Legislature expressed its support for this policy through the adoption of legislation that requires the commissioner of education to biannually issue a notice to each school district reminding the district of its enrollment obligations, and the Legislature also expressed its support for undocumented students enrolled in the state’s public institutions of higher education through the adoption a law that provides in-state tuition benefits based on factors other than immigration status,” said Pintor Marin (D-Essex). “This resolution is just another step in New Jersey reaffirming such support.”
Copies of the resolution will now be transmitted by the Clerk of the General Assembly or the Secretary of the Senate to the governor, the State Board and Commissioner of Education, the board of education of each school district, the Secretary of Higher Education and the governing board of each public institution of higher education.