New York State and Governor Andrew Cuomo are on a roll these past few weeks. The Empire State passed a law allowing abortions to be performed right up until the moment of birth, and on Wednesday the legislature put through a bill making undocumented immigrants eligible for college financial assistance.
Overall cost of the so-called “Dream Act”? Twenty-seven million dollars.
The former-majority GOP State Senate had thwarted the legislation in past years, but the 2018 election shifted control of the chamber to the Democrats. According to The Buffalo News, the new Democratic leaders aren’t done yet: Illegals may soon be able to obtain state driver’s licenses and take advantage of “new wage and housing protections.”
Governor Cuomo has “embraced” the Dream Act, the News reports, but his office so far is mum on him signing the bill into law.
The bill requires those seeking aid to have attended state high schools for at least two years or graduated from a state high school, and students must have applied to a college within five years after graduation. NY State high school equivalency diploma holders also are eligible, and any aid “will cover awards up to the tuition and fees charged by [state] public colleges.”
GOP lawmakers aren’t happy at all about the bill:
“When we can take care of every American citizen who is here legally and played by the rules … then we can talk about those who are not,” said Senator Rob Ortt, a North Tonawanda Republican.
Instead, Ortt said the Democrats are taking New York on immigration issues down a path that undermines federal law “and the fabric of this country.’’ …
… Republicans noted that the bill passed Wednesday differs from Cuomo’s budget plan in several ways. The bill that passed would also apply to temporary visa holders. “These are transients with no indication that they will remain in this state yet they will receive this benefit,” said Sen. Joseph Griffo, an Oneida County Republican who is serving as acting minority leader. …
The bill is “a slap in the face for all the hardworking taxpayers who play by the rules and struggle for the costs of a college education,” said Sen. Daphne Jordan, a Saratoga County Republican.
Dream Act (Democratic) sponsor Luis Sepulveda waved off concerns over the bill’s price tag, claiming illegals “pay an estimated $150 million in state and local taxes.”
“Dreamers are the best of the best,” Sepulveda said, and added it “makes no sense” for the state to provide them an education through high school, but “not also help provide access to state financial aid for college.”
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