Why New York state should pass the DREAM Act

The proposed New York DREAM Act would allow unauthorized immigrants who’ve earned high school diplomas in New York state to apply for tuition assistance to attend state colleges and universities.

The documentary film profiles six hard-working young people who might benefit from the new law.

State law doesn’t not protect them from deportation, but it gives them the same right to attend public school as citizens and legal immigrants. The proposed law would give them an equal right to apply for financial aid.

An estimated 4,500 undocumented students graduate from New York high schools each year.  An estimated 90 to 95 percent of them do not pursue higher education.

These young men and women, although not legally authorized to be in the United States, can’t help being here.  Most of them know no other home than the United States.

It would be cruel to drive them out of the only land they know, and cruel to keep them here as second-class citizens.

So I favor the proposed law.  I would like to see it be part of a movement that makes higher education more affordable to all.


The New York State DREAM Act by the New York State Comptroller (2013)

New York Dream Act Information Sheet by the New York Youth Leadership Council.

Tags: , , , , , ,

2 Responses to “Why New York state should pass the DREAM Act”

  1. thetinfoilhatsociety Says:

    No No No. My kids can’t afford to go to school. My kids have crappy Obamacare insurance with ridiculous deductibles. Why should illegal aliens – THE LEGAL TERM – get better treatment than my own natural born CITIZEN children? NO NO NO. My taxes should NOT go to reward those who didn’t bother to come here legally, and I really don’t give a $h!t whether they grew up here or not. My grandparents came here legally. My husband’s mother and his grandparents came here legally. Do it right. Period.


    • philebersole Says:

      I happen to have had at least one good friend whose grandfather was an illegal immigrants.

      One was a feature writer for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle when I worked there 20 years ago. Her grandfather was a Jewish man who lived in Russia right after World War One. Realizing the outlook was not good, he contacted a boyhood friend who settled in Rochester, and asked him to say that he was his brother. He had a son who became an engineer and a granddaughter who became a newspaper writer. I haven’t kept in touch with her, but she had daughters of her own, and she may well be a grandmother by now.

      A couple of minor nitpicks about your comment:

      > This is a change in New York state law, so it doesn’t affect you or your children.
      > The New York DREAM Act does not give DREAMers privileges that citizens and children of legal immigrants don’t have—merely equal status.

      I realize that this does not get to the core of your argument, namely, that, as a result of their parents having broken U.S. law, these young men and women will get something they otherwise wouldn’t have received.

      There is a religious / moral question as to whether to show mercy and compassion rather than stick to the strict letter of the law.

      There is a pragmatic question as to whether we the citizens and legal immigrants are better off, or worse off, having an underclass in our midst who are denied equal rights, who cannot realize their potential to contribute to society and who, being outside the protection of the law, can be used to undermine wages and labor standards of everybody else.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: