2018-04-18 / Front Page

'Make Dream A Reality'

Peralta, DREAMers, Advocates Urge Passage Of NYS DREAM Act


At the foot of the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, NYS Senator Jose Peralta, flanked by more than a dozen DREAMers and advocates, urged his colleagues in the State Senate to pass the New York State DREAM Act before the end of the legislative session. At the foot of the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, NYS Senator Jose Peralta, flanked by more than a dozen DREAMers and advocates, urged his colleagues in the State Senate to pass the New York State DREAM Act before the end of the legislative session. At the foot of the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park on April 15, NYS Senator Jose Peralta, flanked by more than a dozen DREAMers and advocates, urged his colleagues in the State Senate to pass the New York State DREAM Act (S.471- C) before the end of the legislative session. Senator Peralta’s DREAM Act will allow undocumented immigrants to receive state financial aid for college. To qualify for the state’s Tuition Assistance Program, students would have to have attended a New York high school for two or more years when graduating, or obtained the GED.

Peralta pointed out that of the more than 4,500 undocumented New Yorkers who graduate from a high school in the state every year, only about 5-10 percent attend college because of economic hurdles. According to a report by the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy released the Fiscal Policy Institute, undocumented immigrants contribute $1.1 billion to state and local taxes in New York State.

“This is an injustice. It’s time to right this wrong, especially now, when New York is under attack from the White House. Amid this political climate, the state has become the frontline to protect New Yorkers,” said Senator Peralta. “Making the ‘DREAM’ a reality will cost the average taxpayer 87 cents, not even a dollar. This is an investment, since the average college graduate pays every year about $4,000 more in state taxes than New Yorkers without a college degree.”

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli noted that an individual with an associate’s degree would contribute more than $35,000 in additional state taxes than a person without a college degree. A college graduate with a bachelor’s degree pays more than $60,000 in state taxes alone as a New Yorker. According to the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, in 2017 DREAMers contributed $4.7 billion in the city’s Gross Domestic Product (GPD).

“We must ensure our students have a chance to pursue a college education. Passing the DREAM Act provides hope and opportunity, creates jobs, and boosts future tax revenue. It’s a win-win situation for all,” noted Peralta. “It does not make sense to keep blocking the passage of the DREAM Act. Devoting a very small fraction of the $168 billion state budget is the right thing to do, both morally and economically. Let’s end the nightmare and begin the DREAM.”

“If Congress continues to ignore the urgency of this problem, 800,000 DACA recipients, including me, will be forced to live in limbo, uncertain and fearful of the future! But the New York State DREAM Act can alleviate some of the burdens and help thousands of New York youth to fulfill their dreams and continue their education,” said Isaac Montiel, Co-President of CUNY DREAMers.

“I love my friends, peers, and family who are undocumented. The NYS DREAM Act is important to me because this would give them agency and power over their education and their future in a place that is already their home,” said Darian, a Hunter College student.

“The New York State DREAM Act is important, because it will open the doors for talented people who can improve NYS, not only financially also spiritually,” said Francisco, a LaGuardia Community College student.

“CIANA is proud that over the years we have been able to help DREAMers take advantage of the opportunity to build their future in the country they call home and move forward with their lives. The DREAMers are a very important part of our communities—they have contributed in so many ways and deserve to have the opportunity to invest in their future with higher education, professional careers, and meaningful employment. We urge the State Legislature to pass the DREAM Act to ensure that DREAMers have access to the Tuition Assistance Program to be able to pursue a college degree and have a brighter future,” said Emira Habiby Browne, Founder and CEO of the Center for the Integration and Advancement of New Americans.

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