City leaders throw support behind New York State Dream Act

dream act
New York State’s version of the Dream Act to give state tuition assistance to students in the country illegally failed in the Senate by two votes.
Credit: longislandwins/Flickr

Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced their support of the Dream Act during a conference in Albany on Saturday.

Speaking at the Somos El Futuro conference organized by Latino state lawmakers, de Blasio called the bill, which would allow children of illegal immigrants to receive state financial aid, a “simple act of compassion.”

“It is a simple statement of morality to reach out to your young people, who are so much of our future,” the mayor said. “We can’t care where they were born. We only care what is born in them.”

“It is time for the Dream Act, it’s as simple as that.”

The statement of support, which came amid budget negotiations, did not include a specific plan to include the Dream Act in the state budget.

The state Assembly passed the Dream Act last month but it failed to pass in the Senate. At the time, Governor Andrew Cuomo, who supports the bill, promised to continue working toward seeing it realized.

“I’m disappointed that the New York State Senate failed to pass the New York State Dream Act and denied thousands of hardworking and high-achieving students equal access to higher education and the opportunity that comes with it,” the governor said in a statement.



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