SUPPORT MEMO: THE DREAM ACT

S1250 Sepulveda/A782 De La Rosa, et al

The New York State AFL-CIO, representing 2.5 million union workers and their families, as well as our retirees and their families, supports the above-referenced legislation.

This legislation creates the New York DREAM Fund Commission and extends opportunities for certain undocumented students to attend college. It also expands State financial aid eligibility and provides greater access to the New York State 529 family tuition savings account program.

Immigrants and their families have been a vital part of our state and national economy for centuries. Immigrant labor has always been a critical part of our nation’s future and that remains true today. Now, more than ever, getting a college education is key to every individual’s economic future. It is time we ensure this opportunity is available to this vital segment of the population.

Currently, the door to a quality education is abruptly slammed shut on thousands of New York’s students once they complete high school. The only basis for this is the fact that their parents chose to bring them to the United States as children without documented status.

This legislation will provide access to higher education for thousands of New Yorkers. Considering the current federal immigration debate and lack of progress on meaningful reform, now is the time to pass this legislation to ensure that New York can continue as a leader in embracing such a vital component of our economy and society.

Therefore, this Federation urges that this bill be passed.

For further information contact the Legislative Department at 518-436-8516.