Christie to hold inaugural on Ellis Island

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) will host his second gubernatorial inauguration on Ellis Island, putting the issue of immigration front and center.

"Today, Ellis Island stands as a symbol of the hope, freedom, and promise of opportunity afforded by our state and our nation and continues to be a powerful connection for millions of Americans to their family history," Christie's inaugural committee said in a statement on Tuesday.

Ellis Island, parts of which are in New Jersey and parts of which belong to New York, was long the major entry point for immigrants coming to the United States.

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Christie is widely viewed as a top 2016 presidential contender, and Republicans are trying to reach out to Hispanics on the issue of immigration. President Obama won 71 percent of the Hispanic vote in the 2012 election.

Earlier this month, New Jersey's largest newspaper, the Newark Star-Ledger, accused Christie of a "flip-flop" on immigration. During his campaign for governor this year, he expressed support for a New Jersey bill to extend in-state tuition to immigrants in the country illegally, but he now is refusing to sign the bill passed by the legislature because it also includes financial aid for these students, which Christie says goes too far.

The inaugural celebration will be Jan. 21 in Ellis Island's Grand Hall. The committee has launched a website, www.inaugural2014.org, where tickets are on sale for $500.