Failure to pass New York Dream Act this session = over 3,500 youth left behind
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 22, 2012
Daniela Alulema, 646-472-9565, firstname.lastname@example.org
Razeen Zaman, 347-323-4521, email@example.com
New York, NY. After more than a year of fiercely advocating for the New York Dream Act, the New York State Youth Leadership Council (NYSYLC), is deeply disgusted with the routine political intransigence evident in the State Capitol. The leadership of the New York State Assembly, New York State Senate and the New York Governor, have once again conspired either willingly, or through negligence, to extinguish the educational aspirations of thousands of undocumented New Yorkers who will graduate from New York high schools this month. Up until today, the New York Dream Act, a bill that would have removed restrictions on financial aid for undocumented students, remained the critical lifeline for the aspirations of over 3,500 eligible students. The legislature’s and Governor’s failure to pass the bill will severely hinder these students’ ability to access and enroll in postsecondary institutions.
Further aggravating the egregiousness of New York State’s failure is the pronounced gap between the Federal Government’s announcement of a marginal provision of relief for certain undocumented youth, and New York State’s policy. In light of the recent developments at the federal level, it behooves New York to pass the New York Dream Act and align state educational policy to the recent progress in federal immigration policy. It is inexcusable that Governor Cuomo, decided to weigh his political ambitions more heavily than the opportunity to equalize educational attainment and maximize graduation rates for thousands of youth across the state.
The New York State Youth Leadership Council, the organization that first imagined and spearheaded the New York Dream Act campaign, is very disappointed with Mr. Cuomo’s, Mr. Silver’s and Mr. Skelos’ inaction to push a bill forward that would have benefited New York State economically and socially. Despite walking over 150 miles from New York City to Albany to advocate for the bill, frequently visiting legislators, hosting educational forums, risking arrest and accepting arrest to express the urgency of the bill, our call to pass this bill was met with deaf ears.
We remain 100% committed to advocating for this bill, which would affect our members’ lives, and we will continue to request that Mr. Cuomo, Mr. Silver, and Mr. Skelos fulfill their obligations as leaders of New York State and work to pass a bill that New York State so critically requires. We will not tolerate the legislature’s and Mr. Cuomo’s inaction on the New York Dream Act next year. We pledge to hold Mr. Cuomo and the leaders of New York State’s legislature accountable for the movement of the New York Dream Act and look forward to working with them in passing a bill that quite obviously addresses the need to make New York State work for everyone.###
For media inquiries, please contact Daniela (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Razeen (email@example.com)
The NYSYLC is a youth led organization that seeks to improve access to higher education and creating equal opportunity for immigrant youth and children of immigrants, regardless of immigration status through leadership development, organizing and advocacy.