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Christie on DREAMers: "They can't be second class citizens if they're not citizens"

By threatening to veto a version of the NJ DREAM Act unless the legislature stripped a provision making undocumented students eligible for financial aid — and then mocking and belittling the concerns of a DREAMer who still felt like a “second class citizen,” Chris Christie is trying to have it both ways… and failing. In a transparent attempt to make himself appealing to Latino voters without angering the anti-immigrant GOP base, Christie today created problems for both the primary and general elections in 2016.

At a press conference this afternoon, Christie dismissed the concerns of an undocumented student by repeatedly saying: “They can’t be second class citizens if they’re not citizens.”

Something tells me this isn’t quite the “tone of grace, love, and respect” Reince Priebus was talking about yesterday.

BACKGROUND:

Christie Planned To Conditionally Veto A Provision That Would Make Undocumented Students Eligible For Financial Aid Programs. According to the Newark Star-Ledger, “But first, he’ll conditionally veto the bill (S2479) the Assembly plans to send him this afternoon. Christie will strike a provision that would make the students eligible for state financial aid programs, including Tuition Aid Grants (TAG). Democrats have agreed to concur with the conditional veto, sending it once again to Christie for his signature.” [Newark Star-Ledger, 12/19/13]

Christie Had Previously Criticized Several Parts Of The Bill. According to the Newark Star-Ledger, “While courting Hispanic votes during his re-election campaign, Christie said he supported the concept of ‘tuition equality.’ But he did not elaborate on what he meant until the bill began rapidly advancing through the Legislature. Then, he took issue with several parts of the bill, including the financial aid eligibility.” [Newark Star-Ledger, 12/19/13]