NY lawmakers vote to make DREAM Act a reality

State lawmakers in Albany voted Wednesday to pass the DREAM Act.

News 12 Staff

Jan 23, 2019, 10:37 AM

Updated 1,942 days ago

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State lawmakers in Albany voted Wednesday to pass the DREAM Act.
The Democrat-controlled Senate passed the act, which has been approved several times in the state Assembly, including on Wednesday.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said he would sign the legislation.
The DREAM Act would give undocumented students who graduate from a New York high school or receive a GED access to state financial aid programs. It would also create a specific fund from private donations to make scholarships available to the children of immigrants.
Gerson Sermeno is thrilled by the act passing. He says he came to the U.S. at age 13 to avoid gang violence in El Salvador. He graduated from Glen Cove High School, and is working full time in food services at a school in Nassau. He says he wants to study computer science at college but can't afford it right now.
"I can try, but I know it's going to be really hard for me to go to college without the help," he says.
Lisa Healey, of Hicksville, says she has two sons and her family is also struggling to afford college. But she says her sons won't qualify for financial aid.
"We don't have that opportunity," she says. "We are American citizens and I just don't see where that's fair."
The DREAM Act is expected to cost the state $27 million.
Senate Republicans criticized its passage, saying "it will reward law-breaking illegal immigrants with free college tuition."


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