Hundreds of Undocumented Students Visit Legislators and Rally in Albany to Get Support for NY Dream Act
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 5, 2012
Contact: Daniela 646-472-9565 or Sonia 347-260-5844
New York, NY. Hundreds of undocumented students and supporters from every corner of New York state, including New York City, Long Island, Poughkeepsie, Ithaca, Rochester and other areas, will travel to Albany on Tuesday, March 6th to ask their legislators to pass the NY Dream Act (S4179/A6829) in 2012. The New York DREAM Act, which was introduced in February 2011 by Senator Perkins and Assemblyman Linares, would provide access to state-funded tuition assistance program (TAP) and scholarships to undocumented youth who have grown up in the United States and wish to pursue a college degree. Of the 4,550 undocumented students who graduate from New York high schools every year, only 5-10% pursue a college degree due to tremendous financial obstacles. Passing the New York DREAM Act would open the doors of higher education to outstanding and hard-working undocumented youth, who only wish to contribute to the well-being of their families and communities. Texas, California and New Mexico have passed similar measures as the NY Dream Act. It’s time New York stands up for equal education for all, regardless of immigration status.
As Melissa Garcia-Velez, member of the NYS Youth Leadership Council and an undocumented college student states, “the NY Dream Act will give us an opportunity to receive a college education and use our full potential to contribute to our communities and state. Obtaining financial aid through TAP and scholarships will bring me closer to my dreams of becoming a social workers and helping my fellow New Yorkers.”
Barbara Bowen, President, Professional Staff Congress / CUNY states “New York is built by immigrants and continues to thrive today because of new waves of immigration. For most of these immigrants, college means CUNY. Every student deserves an opportunity to attend college and every student with financial need should be eligible for TAP, regardless of their documentation status.”
“The promise of our country is that every kid – no matter who their parents are or where their parents came from – has the chance to work hard, get ahead, and achieve the American dream,” Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Queens) said. “We shouldn’t be closing the door of opportunity on young people looking to contribute to our country.”
What: Albany Day of Action!
Who: Undocumented students, teachers, Senator Espaillat, Assemblyman Lancman, Assemblyman Linares, Senator Perkins, Professional Staff Congress, and supporters
Where: Emmanuel Baptist Church, 275 State Street, Albany, NY 12210
When: Tuesday, March 6th, 2012 at 10.30 am
Why: The New York DREAM Act will allow undocumented youth, who are Americans in all except paper, contribute to New York. Education today, success tomorrow!
Individual interviews will be available in New York City at 6.30am before departure to Albany in Union Square (corner of park at East 14th street and Union Square east).
You can also follow the action on Twitter by following @nysylc and/or #ActionNYDA.
For media inquiries, contact Daniela 646-472-9565 or Sonia 347-260-5844
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. The National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NIYA) is an undocumented youth-led network of grassroots organizations, campus-based student groups and individuals committed to achieving equality for all immigrant youth, regardless of their legal status.
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