After Six Years, New York Must Finally Pass the Dream Act

January 10, 2019. This op-ed discusses the challenge that undocumented immigrant youth, who have graduated from New York high schools, face after graduation, which is not being able to afford college because they do not have access to state financial aid. The author goes on to discuss a solution to this problem, the New York State Dream Act, which would allow undocumented youth access to the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). The author highlights that Governor Cuomo fully supports this proposed bill.

Every year thousands of undocumented youth graduate from high school with a singular hope of realizing their American Dream and making it to college. Too often, though, these dreams are deferred as immigrant youth are denied fair and equal access to state financial aid.

There is a solution to this injustice: the New York Dream Act. The bill would promote education equity, ensuring that every student has an equal opportunity to fulfill their dream of attending college by allowing immigrant youth access to New York’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). For too long, Republican opposition has allowed this legislation to languish in Albany. Now, with Democratic control of both chambers of the Legislature, it’s time to put this bill in the hands of Governor Cuomo, who has already signaled his eagerness to sign the Dream Act into law in the first 100 days of the 2019 legislative session.

The moral case aside, the New York Dream Act is also a smart deal for New York. With regards to the state budget, the cost is negligible, according to reports by the independent and nonprofit research organization Fiscal Policy Institute and the New York State Comptroller, and would bring much larger benefits in terms of the tax revenue increase and economic contributions of the students who would be able to attend and graduate college. A person who earns a bachelor’s degree pays more than $60,000 in additional state taxes over time compared to someone with only a high school diploma.

 

Here is the link to the Gotham Gazette.

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