Today, Sheldon Silver and the New York State Assembly made clear their thoughts about the future of undocumented students in New York. Although undocumented immigrants in New York pay upwards of $662 million annually in taxes, the New York State Assembly decided that undocumented students are not worth even a one dollar investment from the state. While the New York State legislature passed the New York State Dream Fund, they failed to even consider the New York State Dream Act.
The difference is significant. The New York State Dream Fund is a zero dollar commitment from the state to undocumented youth whose intention is to pursue a college degree and contribute to their communities and state. With the passage of the New York Dream Fund, undocumented youth will still not have access to crucial financial relief, available to all New York residents. The New York State Dream Act would have extended state- sponsored financial aid to all students, regardless of citizenship status. Through this act, all students would have been given an equal opportunity to financial assistance.
By failing to consider the New York Dream Act, the legislature is is reaffirming an unjust law that places undocumented youth on a separate and unequal track from their peers. Although undocumented students pay taxes, work jobs and contribute to New York’s economy – the legislature still believes that undocumented students do not deserve to be treated as equals. However, there is still time in this legislative session to ensure equal access to education for everyone. We urge Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to bring the New York Dream Act for a vote in the 2012 legislative session and allow undocumented students an equal opportunity at achieving their educational goals.
The New York State Youth Leadership Council will continue to work towards the New York Dream Act. We believe that undocumented immigrants should be given a fair opportunity at an education and a chance to contribute to society – the same opportunity given to all New York residents. We will continue to fight so all students, undocumented or not, can have access to state financial aid and can have a fair opportunity to pursue their higher education goals.
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The NY Dream Act is currently being held in the Governmental Operations Committee in the Assembly. Please call the Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and ask him to put up the NY Dream Act (A6829/S4179) for a vote in the Assembly, then call the Chair of the Governmental Operations committee and ask him to move the NY DREAM Act through the committee. If you have more time please call every member of the committee (list is below). For more info, updates and next steps attend our General Meeting tomorrow, Wednesday May 2nd at 6:30pm at our office located on 339 lafayette St.
Sample script: “Im calling to urge that (legislators name) support the NY DREAM Act and allow undocumented students to be given an equal opportunity to the tuition assistance program, please move the NY DREAM Act to the floor for a vote ”
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver
NYC office: 212-312-1420 / Albany: 518-455-3791
Chair, Governmental Operations Committee
Albany: 518-455-4804 / District office: 631-751-3094
Governmental Operations Committee Members
Albany: 518-455-5296 / District: 718-892-2235
Albany: 518-455-5348 / District: 914-941-1111
Deborah J Glick
Albany: 518-455-4841 / District: 212-674-5153
George S Latimer
Albany: 518-455-4897 / District: 914-777-3832
Crystal D Peoples-Stokes
Albany: 518-455-5005 / District: 716-897-9714
Albany: 518-455-5192 / District: 516-482-6966
Albany: 518-455-5397 / District: 914-686-7335
Albany: 518-455-5943 / District: 518-562-1986
Albany: 518-455-4511 / District: 716-664-7773
Albany: 518-455-5784 / District: 585-223-9130
Albany: 518-455-4755 / District: 718-651-3185
Albany: 518-455-5931 / District: 518-371-0568
Albany: 518-455-5272 / District: 718-589-6324
For questions contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and do not forget that every action and call counts!
In the struggle,
The NYSYLC Team