Yesterday, the New York state Assembly passed a bill that would make DREAMers eligible for tuition assistance programs in the state. The bill passed the Assembly by an 82-46 vote, and now heads to the Senate, where it has 27 Democratic sponsors. That’s five short of the majority needed for the bill to pass. Govenor Andrew Cuomo has already said that he would sign the bill into law if it cleared both chambers.
New York already allows DREAMers to pay the in-state tuition rate if they attend public universities. The New York DREAM Act would further allow them to qualify for financial aid, as well as establish a private scholarship program called the DREAM Fund. As Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has said:
Our businesses are clamoring for highly skilled workers, especially companies in New York City and the metropolitan region where the vast majority of our undocumented students reside. I will say this again. This is not a state that can afford to waste bright, young minds.