Albany, NY -- The so-called Dream Act has cleared the state Assembly. The bill would give access to tuition assistance to New York students in the U.S. illegally. A similar bill was approved in the Assembly last year, but prospects remain uncertain in the Senate.
Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle says it would open the door of opportunity to more than 146,000 undocumented immigrant youth living in the state.
Minority Leader Brian Kolb says using taxpayer dollars to subsidize a scholarship program for illegal immigrants is the wrong priority at the wrong time.
Assemblyman Steve Hawley voted against the measure, citing concerns that working-class families are disregarded in favor of illegal immigrants. He noted the similarities between the DREAM Act and Gov. Cuomo’s plan to give a free college education to incarcerated felons. In both cases, he says lawbreakers would be receiving college tuition assistance and law-abiding families would be spending their life savings and borrowing to pay college bills.