NY Catholic Conference: support financial aid for children of illegal immigrants
- Catholic Conference: New York "should be at the forefront" of efforts to "support immigrant populations."
- NY Assembly expected to pass DREAM Act again this year; bill's survival in state Senate uncertain.
New York Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan and rest of the state's bishops are putting their weight behind the state’s proposed DREAM Act legislation, which would make children of illegal immigrants eligible for college financial aid regardless of their own immigration status.
Currently, the legislation is sponsored by a pair of Queens Democrats: Assemblyman Francisco Moya and Senator Jose Peralta, according to the New York Daily News.
A Catholic Conference bill memo supporting the legislation stated that "New York State, with its history of welcoming immigrants, should be at the forefront of these efforts to support immigrant populations who have contributed so much to the vitality of our state.”
The Conference’s Charities Director Earl Eichelberger told Campus Reform that the diocese “has been a long supporter of immigrant services in New York State and in assisting young people in higher education, beyond high school.”
The state Assembly passed the measure last year and will likely do so again this year; however, the act's future in the Republican-controlled Senate is less certain.
So far, 20 of 25 Senate Democrats have signed on to the bill. Some Democrats are worried about supporting the bill because it might affect their support in the suburbs as well as upstate counties.
New York already provides in-state tuition to illegal immigrants who graduated from an Empire State high school. Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) supports a national version of the DREAM Act but hasn't voiced his support for a state version.
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