Hawley blasts Downstate liberals for giving tax dollars to 'illegal aliens'
Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) criticizes Assembly leadership for voting to give taxpayer-funded tuition to illegal aliens.
“Once again, New York City liberals have passed the DREAM Act, which allows illegal aliens access to taxpayer-funded tuition assistance programs on par with legal citizens. At a time when middle-class families are struggling to send their children to college, Assembly leadership prioritizes giving freebies to illegal aliens instead of passing initiatives that help hard-working legal citizens.
“This is yet another in the long line of disgraceful and unconscionable acts that are completely out of line with New Yorkers’ values. Upstate infrastructure is crumbling, the heroin epidemic is ripping apart our families, businesses are leaving the state in droves, and Assembly leadership would rather approve freebies for people who aren’t supposed to be here in the first place.”
An estimated 146,000 youth in New York who have been educated in New York public schools are currently ineligible to receive financial aid under federal and state law. Of the more than 4,500 undocumented students who graduate from New York high schools every year, only 5-10% pursue a college degree due to tremendous financial obstacles.
Although many have attended New York schools from kindergarten through 12th grades, they are left in limbo after graduating high school, ineligible to receive federal tuition assistance, scholarships, grants or loans. With Congress’ failure to pass the federal DREAM Act in 2010, it became clear that New York, as a state with one of the largest immigrant populations in the U.S, must do what Washington D.C. has failed to do and equip these students with the tools that will help them succeed in their higher education pursuits. A decade ago, New York showed leadership by making it possible for all students who graduate from a high school in New York to pay in-state tuition rates at CUNY and SUNY. The New York DREAM Act would be the next step by extending state financial aid to all students who meet HESC’s requirements for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).
California, Texas, and New Mexico have passed state-level Dream Acts allowing undocumented students to access state funded financial aid, and New York should join them in passing legislation that is good for our community, good for our youth, and good for our economy.
Those who benefit from the bill must meet the following requirements:
Have attended a New York high school for at least two years and graduated, or obtained a GED in New York
Enroll in a college or university in the state of New York
Meet Higher Education Services Corporation’s requirements for TAP
The Dream Act is trying to assist with a situation that in many cases was not caused by the youth receiving aid. We have to go back to trying to resolve the issue of illegal immigrants becoming legal and citizens.