Last Monday, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and a number of Assembly Majority Members held a press conference indicating that they plan to make the DREAM Act one of their highest priorities in 2014.
The legislation (A.2597), which the Assembly passed in 2013, would make New York one of only four states that offer state financial aid to immigrant students. It would also create a DREAM Fund, a private scholarship program that would be committed to advancing the educational goals of the children of immigrants through privately-funded scholarships and increased access to the New York State College Tuition (529) Program through family tuition accounts.
Speaker Silver said:
“The DREAM Act is about opening the doors to higher education and self-fulfillment for all of our children. The demand for highly skilled workers is increasing, especially in New York City and the metropolitan region, where the vast majority of our undocumented, undergraduate students are enrolled in public institutions of higher education. The DREAM Act can lower unemployment and help us build a stronger workforce.”