Democrats Pass Bill to Fund College for Illegal Immigrants with Taxpayer Money
It was indeed a New York state bill that made tuition assistance available to undocumented high school students in that state alone. The effort followed Democrats’ winning a majority of seats in the New York legislature in the 2018 midterm elections, giving that party control of the governor’s office and both chambers of the legislature for the first time in a decade.
Those lawmakers approved the state’s own version of the DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act in a vote that followed party lines. Although the name of the New York law echoes a federal bill that has languished in the U.S. Congress in one version or another since 2001, New York’s DREAM Act doesn’t provide a path to citizenship. Instead, it allows undocumented high school students to qualify for in-state, college-tuition assistance to public universities and community colleges, providing them “access [to] the same in-state scholarships and financial aid available to U.S. citizens”:
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Assemblymember Carmen De La Rosa announced that the Assembly will pass the Jose Peralta New York State DREAM Act to ensure immigrant children are able to access higher education in order to fully participate in the state’s economy. The bill was renamed this year in memory of the late Senator Jose Peralta, who was a passionate champion of the DREAM Act and a tireless advocate for all immigrants.
“The Assembly Majority believes in breaking down barriers, not creating them,” said Speaker Heastie. “We know higher education is the key to ending the cycle of poverty and enabling families to thrive. We have repeatedly passed the DREAM Act because we know it is economically misguided and morally unjust to deprive students educated in our very own public schools of the tools they need to be successful.”
“For the vast majority of students, the pursuit of higher education would be impossible without access to financial aid,” said Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick, chair of the Higher Education Committee. “Our public primary and secondary schools are required by law to educate our children and prepare them for college, regardless of residence or immigration status. That investment is squandered when higher education is placed out of reach, and it is a huge disservice to students and all New Yorkers.”