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Dream Act in New York State

New York state is considering implementing a state version of the Dream Act which would allow for instate tuition for undocumented youth who were brought this country as minors through no fault of their own. The act may also provide for some financial support. Currently 13 states allow for instate tuition for certain undocumented youth including Washington State, where I live, however only three states provide any finanical assistance. Washington state is not one of them.

I support State Dream Acts, however real change must be made at the federal level. State Dream Acts can help a student who has spend most of their lives in the U.S. better themselves and the community by attending college, but it does nothing for their immigration status or lack their of which is controlled by federal immigration law. An educated student that cannot lawfully work or reside in the only country they know does provide much benefit.

A federal DREAM Act would provide for lawful status for those who entered the U.S. without authorization as minors and who have attended school and grown up in the U.S. as long as they attend University, trade school or in some versions of proposed Dream Act bills, the military. They would not automatically be granted U.S Citizenship, but some sort of legal immigrant status and the opportunity to apply for U.S. Citizenship sometime in the future. The country would benefit from educated motivated students.

If you are a “Dream Act” student, or an undocumented youth, it would benefit you and our family to speak to an immigration attorney. In some cases there may be possibilites to adjust your status without having to wait for the Dream Act to pass.

Read the New York Times Editorial below:

The Dream Act is an aptly named-but-star-crossed piece of federal legislation that would open a path to legal status for young unauthorized immigrants who pursue college degrees or serve in the military. Its goal is to help ambitious youths who were brought here as children and are American in all but the paperwork.

But, since the bill has been stalled in Congress, some states have found a way to help these blameless young people. Though they cannot fix anyone’s visa problems, some states have passed their own versions of the Dream Act to make college more affordable to undocumented students. Thirteen, including New York, allow the undocumented to qualify for in-state tuition rates. Only three — Texas, New Mexico and California — allow them to receive government tuition aid.

New York should become the fourth. It has long been a global beacon for immigrants and a leader in higher education. One bill in the Legislature would make undocumented students eligible for the state’s Tuition Assistance Program; another would provide aid through a fund with private donations.

Yet Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who should be leading this effort, has been on the sidelines, studying the legislation. It’s hard to see why Mr. Cuomo should be hesitant to support these measures. It shouldn’t be the expense; a new study by the Fiscal Policy Institute found that the Dream Act would add roughly $17 million, or only 2 percent, to the cost of the Tuition Assistance Program. Students with college degrees make a state more attractive to businesses, earn more and pay more in taxes. Giving a boost to the dreams of undocumented young people is not only the decent thing to do, it’s also a wise investment.

Found at http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/13/opinion/dream-act-for-new-york.html?_r=1&ref=immigrationandemigration