Wirths and Space: Trenton needs to get its priorities straight

Apr 02 2019 | 01:54 AM

    An additional $1 million will go to help unauthorized immigrants fight deportation while school districts across the state are reeling from a failed school funding formula that once fully phased in will give 51 percent of the aid to just 5 percent of the districts.
    Assemblymen Hal Wirths and Parker Space in the 24th Legislative District sponsor a bill (A4033) that prohibits state funds from being used to provide legal assistance or legal services to individuals facing detention or deportation based on their immigration status.
    “The Murphy administration does not have its priorities straight,” said Wirths (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris). “Our towns are going to see property taxes increase as a result of the cuts to school aid while taxpayer dollars are being funneled to groups to help illegal immigrants who are already receiving preferential treatment.”
    Last year’s budget gave $2.1 million to four legal-services providers who assist unauthorized immigrants. This year, the governor is allocating $1 million more to Legal Services of New Jersey, one of the four providers.
    “Governor Murphy talks so much about tax fairness, but what about fair funding for our schools and fair and equal treatment for the residents of New Jersey,” said Space (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris). “The state is protecting criminals from federal immigration authorities and increasing spending to help detainees avoid deportation, while our taxpaying citizens suffer.”
    A 2017 Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) report found that illegal immigration is costing New Jersey over $3.34 billion every year. New Jersey is among the top 10 states with the largest estimated illegal alien populations.
    The assemblymen’s bill is waiting to be heard in the Assembly Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committee.