by Christine Alexis
When will the DREAM Act become a reality? The New York State Senate has Dreamers crossing their fingers and hoping that this time it’s for real. The State Assembly passed its version of the DREAM Act again. It aims to allow undocumented college students to apply for financial aid. When the Assembly passed the bill in March, the Senate rejected the proposal by two votes.
Now students and advocates hope that the New York State Senate will take up the DREAM Act again and pass it. They also hope Governor Cuomo will put money in the budget to fund a program that helps undocumented students.
Funding for the DREAM Act was not included in New York’s 2014-2015 budget. Opponents say it’s too costly to support undocumented students. But the Fiscal Policy Institute says the DREAM Act would cost taxpayers less than 87 cents a day. That translates to an estimated $20 million a year.
New York Immigration Coalition spokesperson Thanu Yakupitiyage told ConsumerMojo, “Immigrants have been waiting too long for financial aid. It is a moral and economical advantage to support undocumented students who will contribute to the state’s economy.”
The New York Immigration Coalition is lobbying in Albany with the NYS Dream Coalition and they hope to persuade senators to pass the DREAM Act before the Senate summer recess begins in July.
In the meantime, check out some useful resources for undocumented college students.
RESOURCES FOR UNDOCUMENTED STUDENTS
There are resources for undocumented students locally and nationally. It’s a great idea to try to find those resources and take advantage of what’s available.
The College Board also put together a valuable list of resources for undocumented students. They break it down according to state and explain who to contact about the various programs.
A group called Educators for Fair Resources also lists scholarships and advocacy for immigrants.
In New York, CUNY offers free immigration services to students and there is help available in all five boroughs of the city.
In California, UCLA also provides resources for non-citizens.
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