TRENTON - The Latino Action Network (LAN) thanked members of the New Jersey State Senate for passing legislation that makes state financial aid available to DREAMers (S-699) and to the citizen children of undocumented immigrants (S-700). In 2013 LAN worked with students to push for the passage of legislation that provided for both In-State Tuition and Financial Aid for DREAMers. While In-State Tuition became law, the financial aid portion was vetoed by then Governor Christie.
“In 2013 we celebrated our partial victory on In-State Tuition and vowed to continue the fight for Financial Aid for DREAMers”, said LAN President Christian Estevez. “Today was a major step in the fulfillment of that promise.”
“We are on the precipice of a major victory for the DREAMers of New Jersey”, said Frank Argote-Freyre, Chair of the LAN Foundation. “These bills have been in the works for more than a decade I am so very proud to be this close to a successful conclusion.”
Both bills still have to be passed in the State Assembly before going to the governor to be signed into law.
“Tremendous credit goes to Senate President Steve Sweeney and the bill’s co-sponsors: Senator Teresa Ruiz, Senator Nellie Pou and Senator Sandra Cunningham” said Argote-Freyre. “I also want to make note that both bills passed with bipartisan support, with S-700 passing 36-0 and S-699 passing 26-10 with the support of Senator Declan O’Scanlan, the only Republican to vote YES on that bill”.
LAN is a broad, statewide coalition of Latino organizations dedicated to political empowerment, the promotion of civil rights, and the elimination of disparities in the areas of education, health, and employment. It was founded in 2009.