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State Lawmakers Pass Legislation Providing DREAMers with Access to Tuition & Scholarship Funds

New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is joined this morning by the family of the late-senator Jose Peralta in announcing his support for the Dream Act. (Photo: Assembly Member Carmen de la Rosa Twitter)

Jan. 23, 2019 By Meghan Sackman

The state legislature passed a bill today that would provide undocumented students with the same right to receive in-state scholarships and financial aid as U.S. citizens and legal residents.

The legislation, which had been stalled by the Republicans in the state senate for years, passed the upper chamber this afternoon by an unofficial count of 40-20. The bill passed the Assembly later in the day by 90 to 37, and is expected to be signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The bill, called the Jose Peralta New York State Dream Act, is named after the late Jose Peralta, the first Dominican-American elected to the state senate and the original sponsor of the bill.

The legislation builds on a 2001 law that already permits undocumented immigrants with the right to receive in-state tuition if they live in the state.

This bill would provide undocumented immigrants who live in New York with access to tuition assistance such as the Excelsior Scholarship, TAP and other tuition assistance programs. The legislation also provides undocumented immigrants with the ability to open 529 savings accounts for their children.

The bill would also created a DREAM Fund, which would be funded by private donations and offer scholarships to children of immigrants.

“So proud to pass the Jose Peralta #DreamAct, in today’s Higher Education Committee. Sen. Peralta spent his career fighting for the Dreamers,” tweeted State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky, a sponsor of the bill.

The legislation is expected to cost the state about $27 million out of its $175 billion budget.

Supporters of the bill say that it is makes sense to help undocumented students, since they are part of New York’s economy and will be paying taxes in years to come.

Critics of the bill, such as Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, argue that the funds should be directed toward citizens and legal residents.

“I have debated and fought to prevent DREAM Act from becoming a law because I feel it’s both misguided & unfair to provide individuals who are in our country unlawfully w/ free tuition & tuition assistance while middle-class citizens & legal residents struggle w/ debt,” Malliotakis tweeted.

Peralta’s family joined Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie at a press conference this morning as he announced his intentions to pass the bill.

State Senator Jessica Ramos, who beat Peralta last year to take the 13th District seat, voted in favor of passing the bill.

“Let us celebrate our undocumented students and their dreams today,” Ramos tweeted. “The only difference between these students and the rest of us, is what side of a border they were born on.”

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We should all contact Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis’ Office and thank her for supporting the taxpayers who voted for her and pay her salary. These are the type of “politicians” we need! She deserves to know, we the people”, we the taxpayers, support her in return!!!!


“We the people” voted for these idiots! ? People commenting here did not. My friends say they didn’t . I sure didn’t! Yet, these idiots won the elections. We the people, who pay taxes are a bunch of chumps, who complain, but do nothing to stop what is happening . WE THE TAXPAYERS and VOTERS are allowing this to happen in our country.


Do politicians really care about their constituents? This case proves wholeheartedly that they are not. We have so many issues in our state, cities, neighborhoods, such as lack funding for secondary education or crumbling infrastructure and our govenment votes to spend our tax money for someone who never elected them. I call for revolution!


This is crap – I understand not wanting to deport people, but giving them tax dollars for education when the rest of the law abiding citizens drown in debt is total bs.


If citizens are drowning in debt they should apply for the in-state scholarships and financial aid described in the first sentence.


Then get denied for BS reasons. Don’t spew nonsense if you’re not informed. Illegals don’t deserve any of the money that goes into the pot. Instead of spending it on these people, spend it on reducing the costs of international students and offer them scholarships.

Tree of Liberty

Only in America are legal citizens labeled “racist “ and “nazis” but illegal aliens are called dreamers.


Amen! Just because people were goosestepping with swastika armbands saying “Hail Trump! Hail America!” as they saluted, and waved torches as they said “JEWS WILL NOT REPLACE US” all of a sudden they’re “nazis”?!

What's Going On??

Meanwhile, a US citizen like myself is struggling with out of pocket costs for college, debt, rent, transportation… and can not even qualify for $1 worth of financial aid on a minimum wage salary !!

here's an idea

Maybe you should try living within your means instead of looking for a government handout

Rico Suave

We will never solve the problem of illegal immigration if we continue subsidizing it. The more we subsidize it, the more it will grow all at the expense of the law abiding taxpayer. These politicians are a disgrace.


Definitely agree how do the lawmakers not see this all they are looking for is votes at everyone else expense.


This is ridiculousness to continue to fund and encourage illegals to come into the USA . Enough is enough of misspending our tax money. give all USA legal citizens that opportunity. I know so many USA citizens that cannot afford to send their kids to college. This is a Disgrace


Those citizens you know that can’t afford to send their kids to college should work harder to earn more, instead of looking for a handout like librals do.

good point

Agreed, for example the way Trump subsidized illegal immigrants by using them to build his condos; which is why he had to pay a total of $1.375 million to settle the resulting lawsuit.

JH resident

Another disgraceful bill passed by this state’s worthless elected officials.

When will these elected officials stop spitting in the faces of law-abiding, legal citizens? Illegals are given too many unearned benefits and privileges…protection of a sanctuary city; food stamps, Medicaid, and cash assistance for their anchor babies; soon to be free healthcare courtesy of de Blasio; and now financial aid. Illegals are receiving much more than they contribute.

This is why illegals keep coming here…benefits are raining down from the sky in the United States of Welfare.


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