You're a great student, you have a plan for what you want to study in college, and you're already thinking about a career path, and how you'll succeed.
There's only one problem -- you're undocumented and New York State won't provide tuition assistance to help you pay for college.
For an estimated 5,500 students currently in college in New York, this nightmare is a reality. It doesn't matter if you were brought to the US as a child, if you grew up here, went to high school here, or if this is the only place you can call home. If you're undocumented, you're not eligible for New York's Tuition Assistance Program to help defray the cost of higher education.
This can change if key elected officials in the state support the bill, including Gov. Cuomo. A recent editorial in The New York Times explains why Gov. Cuomo should support the bill, and why it makes sense for New York State:
...a new study by the Fiscal Policy Institute found that the Dream Act would add roughly $17 million, or only 2 percent, to the cost of the Tuition Assistance Program. Students with college degrees make a state more attractive to businesses, earn more and pay more in taxes. Giving a boost to the dreams of undocumented young people is not only the decent thing to do, it’s also a wise investment.
Three other states -- Texas, New Mexico, and California -- already provide tuition assistance for undocumented students, and New York should become the fourth.
This measure won't solve the biggest problem for undocumented youth -- the inability to come out of the shadows and work -- but it will empower students to pursue higher education, a small step in the right direction.
In addition to the support of the governor, the passage of the bill will hinge on whether or not it can get through the GOP-majority State Senate. As has been reported by The New York Times, two freshman state senators from Long Island—Lee Zeldin and Jack Martins—serve districts with a sizable number of Latino residents, and both have said they would consider voting for the bill.
Sign this petition and tell key New York State elected officials -- Governor Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, Senator Lee Zeldin, and Senator Jack Martins -- to support the New York DREAM Act.