The New York Assembly has passed the New York State Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. This is a comprehensive immigration reform measure that would offer financial support for the education of immigrant youth. The lower house of the New York State Legislature is known as the New York Assembly. It is made up of 150 members who represent an equal number of districts in the state, with each district composed of an average population of 128,652. The members of the Assembly are permitted to serve two-year terms without term limits.
The Assembly announced the passage of the act and explained that because so many young immigrant students in the state of new New York do not have access to higher education, they are often forced to wait to receive aide to go to school, or completely forgo their plan of a college education. Members of the Assembly believe the DREAM Act works to correct this injustice by ensuring that all students, regardless of whether they are undocumented or not, can receive state-sponsored assistance to earn a college degree. Many supporters of the DREAM Act feel that financial help for immigrant students will give them the ability to be competitive in the job market, where more jobs require a college education than ever before.
The president of the New York Assembly, Sheldon Silver, said in a press conference about the approval of the act that nearly $30 million would be included in the DREAM Act’s budget. Critics of this decision have argued that taxpayer money should not be used to pay for the education of undocumented immigrant students. They feel that supporting undocumented immigrants takes opportunities away from those students legally living in the U.S.
The DREAM Act will now be sent to the New York state Senate where it awaits approval. In the state Senate, the main supporters of the act are the Democrats, and there are 27 Democratic representatives, which is five less than are needed for the act’s approval.