Immigrants Continue Fight for NY Dream Act After Failure to Pass in the State Senate

crossposted from the NYTIMES

In a surprise vote, the New York State Senate on Monday rejected the New York Dream Act by a vote of 30 in favor and 29 opposed. It required 32 votes in favor to pass.

Undocumented youth have been pushing for the New York Dream Act since it was first introduced in 2011 as a response to the federal Dream Act’s failure to pass in 2010. The New York Senate now failed them and all students who would’ve been able to obtain a higher education.

The fight continues.

Advocates from the New York State Dream Act Coalition are on their way to Albany to express their frustration with the state’s government and demand the New York Dream Act be included in the State’s budget.

Undocumented organizers for the New York State Youth Leadership Council stated on their Facebook page:

We are beyond disappointed that the New York Senate would be so reckless with our future. This isn’t over yet! We are ready to hold the NY State Senate accountable and the light brigade will shine on to make sure they hear us! It ain’t over for the NY DREAM Act! We demand financial aid over for undocumented youth! Join our light brigade on Wednesday evening from 6:30pm-8:30pm in front of 250 Broadway as we hold the Senate accountable for the failure of the NY DREAM Act. We are not giving up on the bill and will make sure they see us and hear from us! Contact Razeen@nysylc.org and Dominique@nysylc.org for more info.

All of the Republicans present voted against the measure; two Democrats, Simcha Felder of Brooklyn and Ted O’Brien of the Rochester area, also voted no.

The New York Dream Act would have allowed undocumented students who met certain conditions to receive financial aid through state programs, like the Tuition Assistance Program. It would also have created a private scholarship fund for the children of immigrants, and allowed undocumented students and their families to open college savings accounts.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only four states — California, New Mexico, Texas and Washington —offer state financial aid to undocumented students. New York is falling behind.

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Marlen was one of the walkers who walked 150 miles to Albany, NY to push for the NY Dream Act