The SUNY Board of Trustees unanimously passed a resolution inspired by New York’s DREAM Act on Jan. 25. We support their resolution.
The act — which is currently bouncing around the State legislature — is intended to give illegal immigrants who were brought here at an early age access to financial aid at college.
The federal father-bill of New York’s DREAM Act was supported by President Barack Obama, as well as a majority of Senators, but was struck down by a Republican filibuster in 2010.
The SUNY Board of Trustees’ decision to their support DREAM-type education-immigration reforms is progressive, brave and correct.
According to the press release announcing the resolution, SUNY supports granting “equitable financial and educational access to higher education for New York’s undocumented immigrant students.”
The reason that we agree with the SUNY Board — and believe that New York’s DREAM Act is a no-brainer — is that it would simply help illegal immigrants who are already helping themselves, and America writ large.
The federal DREAM Act would have given “certain illegal immigrants who came to the United States at a young age a path to citizenship if they meet certain criteria,” according to The New York Times. The broad nature of this bill obviously sparked controversy. But even if you don’t support providing citizenship under any circumstances, then New York’s DREAM Act doesn’t violate your cardinal rule.
New York’s bill simply ensures that all students receive equal opportunity. And just because a portion of said students came to America young and voiceless, there is absolutely no reason to exclude them from the same benefits all other students reap.
Prominent figures have come out in favor of the resolution as well, such as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has yet to follow suit, but we encourage him to do so. His endorsement of his state’s DREAM Act will greatly improve its chance of smooth passage.
In SUNY’s press release, Chancellor Nancy Zimpher said, “All New Yorkers, regardless of legal status, should be eligible to receive State financial aid benefits and in-state tuition rates as they pursue a college education.” And if any New Yorker wants to be educated and earn a living in the United States, shouldn’t they be entitled to some help?