GLEN COVE - Although the passage of the DREAM Act was documented as one of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's goals for 2016, he did not mention it in his State of the State address.
The New York State DREAM Act would help undocumented immigrants by offering college tuition assistance. The Legislature has refused to pass it for the past five years.
Nelson Melgar, who came to Long Island from Honduras 12 years ago, graduated high school with honors and is now studying political science at Hunter College. He says he has had to fund his college tuition with cash earned from working two jobs.
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"As a result, it's taken me twice as long to graduate as it took my peers," says Melgar.
The Fiscal Policy Institute estimates 3,000 immigrant students graduate from New York high schools each year. Only a small fraction actually go on to college because of a lack of financial grants or loans.
Immigrant advocate groups say the governor needs to work harder to get legislators to pass the bill.