State Senator Marty Golden said he won’t support the New York Dream Act, legislation that would allow undocumented immigrants in New York to have access to tuition assistance for higher education.
Up until recently, Golden wouldn’t have even needed to address this issue because the bill seemed all but dead. The bill was first introduced three years ago by Senator Bill Perkins and had never gained much steam, according to an article by NBC New York. But with the support of New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio and several Democratic lawmakers, the bill has gained momentum.
It passed in the Democratic-led Assembly and now waits approval in the Senate – where Republicans and conservative Democrats are stalling. Golden is among those opposed to the bill.
NBC New York writes:
Advocates for the Dream Act say they hope to convince Republican Sens. Martin Golden, Lee Zeldin and Andrew Lanza to back the legislation. Golden said he doesn’t support the Dream Act, but would back a “Dream Fund” to provide scholarships through private sources. Zeldin and Lanza didn’t return calls seeking comment.
If passed, the bill would include a budget of $25 million through the Tuition Assistance Program for illegal immigrant students in public and private colleges.
It’s unclear how many students would be able to access this fund but according to a report by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, 8,300 such students in the CUNY and SUNY systems would qualify. Currently, New York’s laws are more lenient than many other states when dealing with such students. It is among 16 states that allow those students to pay in-state tuition, which is significantly cheaper than paying out-of-state rates.