News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, April 6, 2015: So much for New York being one of only a few states in the union to allow high school graduates who are undocumented immigrants to apply for state financial aid for college.
The state’s on again, off again ‘immigrant friendly’ governor has put an end to that, caving to Republicans in the senate and catering to the rich and powerful.
It’s unbelievable to many that Andrew Cuomo could so quickly throw funding for the Dream Act under the bus along with the hopes and dreams of so many immigrants in the Empire State.
Why? Simply because Republican and Democratic leaders would not agree on a proposal that linked the measure with an education tax credit for public and private schools, which the Republicans support but Democrats don’t.
And Cuomo, without batting an eyelash, simply removed the measure from the budget to appease the heartless Republicans. Just like that! No fight, no backbone. Just caving and pandering in order to ensure his budget passes.
In doing so he’s simply told all the immigrant voters and advocates, to whom he pledged his support to for this measure when running last year for re-election: “screw you.”
This as many experts noted the DREAM Act in New York would cost just $27 million out of the total $142 billion budget.
So what will happen to the poor undocumented immigrants who were hoping against all odds to better themselves in NYS thanks to the funding or the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act? This includes the 4,000 undocumented immigrants who graduate from our high schools each year in NYS and who will now continue to be denied the same access to higher education as their friends and classmates.
The reality is they will have to face paying foreign rates or college or simply defer that dream. Even though of course Governor Cuomo has readied his political side step by claiming hypocritically that the DREAM Act is one of his major priorities and even though its’ would not be included in the budget plan, he now hopes the Legislature will vote on the bill.
While Cuomo continues his political dance – one step forward, two steps backward and then the sidestep!
As Sen. Adriano Espaillat, D-Manhattan, chairman of the Senate Latino Caucus noted so eloquently, “Today I am reminded of the Langston Hughes poem ‘Harlem’ and its fundamental question: ‘What happens to a dream deferred?’ The failure to include DREAM Act funding in the budget is a missed opportunity for New York state to provide relief for hard working students trapped by our nation’s broken immigration system.”
What an “injustice” indeed. Thanks a lot Cuomo. Hopefully immigrant voters remember this the next time you come around with that silly smile on your face, making promises you have no intention of keeping.