College students without legal status are receiving nearly $4 million in student aid to attend two-year and four-year schools, according to 2019 data released by the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority.
Assemblyman Hal Wirths said that is outrageous, and taxpayers should be wholly benefiting from the fruits of their own labor.
“There is no good reason for using taxpayers’ dollars to provide benefits to anyone other than legal residents,” said Wirths (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris). “I respect those who put their lives on the line to build a better life. Americans struggled through that just the same. Now we pay to provide ourselves the fruits of our labor, and legal residents earned it all and deserve it all.”
The state gave student financial aid to 749 illegal immigrants, worth over $3.8 million. That is roughly $5,000 per person. Wirths said this is a trend that diminishes the value of paying taxes.
“Helping the poor is a personal responsibility we should all take seriously, but a line always has to be drawn,” said Wirths. “New Jersey is in a terrible financial position and residents throughout the state are struggling to afford the high cost of living. Our entire focus should be on making the state more affordable for them.”
New Jersey has also appropriated $3.1 million to provide lawyers to illegal immigrants who run into legal problems.
“It is outrageous that completely focusing on helping legal residents isn’t a priority for Democrats,” continued Wirths. “A perfect example is providing millions to pay lawyers for illegal immigrants. Every case is completely funded by taxpayers with no benefit to them at all. We pay the prosecutors doing their job to uphold the law; now we are being forced to pay for the defense attorneys who are trying to subvert the law. There is no logic and no public benefit to that.”