New York passes DREAM Act, becomes fourth largest state to do so

New York now joins 18 other states who have passed various bills over the years.

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Now the fourth-largest state to pass the DREAM Act, New York will provide financial aid for undocumented students. The bill passed in both chambers of the state’s legislature on Wednesday, ThinkProgress reported.

“While we as New York state legislators do not have the power to grant citizenship, today we will ensure that for these fellow New Yorkers – who have grown up with us and gone to school with us and live with us – that they will continue to have the same opportunities that we have,” Assembly sponsor Carmen De La Rosa (D-Manhattan) said after the bill passed on Wednesday.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA was created by President Obama in 2012 to give undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children temporary work authorization and deportation relief. The program was a direct response to the DREAM Act, which passed the House that same year, but failed to tally the votes needed to pass the Senate.

Donald Trump ended DACA in 2017 and has tried to use DREAMers as a “bargaining chip” in his attempt to build a wall along the U.S-Mexico border, ThinkProgress reported.

New York’s DREAM Act, which provides in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants, will expand its protection to provide financial aid to those “who attended high school for at least two years in New York and graduated or obtained an equivalency diploma here.”

New York now joins 18 other states who have passed various bills over the years.

“We’re as American as empanadas, samosas, and apple pie,” Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz (D), the first DREAMer elected to New York’s state legislature in November, said. “And we want to contribute and fight for our country.”

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