(Albany, NY) The Senate Majority Conference today passed the José Peralta New York State DREAM Act (S.1250). This legislation will allow undocumented children, who are already students in New York State, the ability to qualify for state aid for higher education, create a Dream Fund for college scholarship opportunities and remove barriers that prevent undocumented families from college saving programs. Allowing undocumented youths to access financial assistance will enable them to earn degrees, access highly skilled employment and support their local economies across New York State.
“Today we made it clear that we will continue to stand up for New Yorkers,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “We made college more affordable, we have made it possible for all teachers to teach without undue burdens, and we passed tax relief for middle class New Yorkers by making the property tax cap permanent.”
Bill Sponsor, Senator Luis Sepúlveda said, “I am honored to sponsor the José Peralta New York State DREAM Act. This essential piece of legislation will create new pathways to higher education for our bright undocumented students who form an important part of our American family. Immigrant workers make approximately 17 percent of the overall labor force in the U.S. In our state, that number is much higher. Immigrants are 25 percent of our labor force and add roughly $100 billion in consumer power to our economy yearly. Immigrant students will now reach even greater heights because of the improved access to a world-class education. Through the Jose Peralta New York State DREAM Act, our shared American dream becomes a reality for thousands of deserving young immigrants.”
Senate Bill S.1250, the José Peralta New York State DREAM Act, will:
- Create a DREAM fund commission and a DREAM fund in order to advance the educational opportunities of the children of immigrants by providing scholarships to college bound students.
- Eliminate potential financial obstacles to obtaining State financial aid and extends the opportunities for undocumented students to attend higher education institutions.
- Eliminate barriers for immigrant aliens to save for their families higher education expenses by allowing such individuals to open a New York State 529 family tuition account under the New York State College Tuition Savings Program and/or be a designated beneficiary on an account if they have a taxpayer identification number.
Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris said, “As a child of immigrants, I know firsthand how the contributions of immigrant families enrich our communities. Passing the DREAM Act commits New York to delivering on the promise of a better life to another generation. The New New York Senate is fighting for our immigrant neighbors and will not deny anyone the opportunity to succeed.”
Senator David Carlucci said, “Senator José Peralta was a friend and a colleague. I was proud to cast my vote for the DREAM Act, which he championed. This legislation is about leveling the playing field for all New York high school students seeking higher education. Passing the DREAM Act removes financial barriers to college and will benefit all New Yorkers.”