Cuomo plans to extend NY free tuition program to 'Dreamers'

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently revealed his FY 2019 budget proposal, which would extend the state’s free tuition program to illegal immigrant students.

According to a briefing book, Cuomo’s plan “includes legislation to implement the DREAM Act, opening the doors of higher education to thousands of New Yorkers.”

The briefing explains that illegal immigrants have qualified for in-state tuition at both the State University of New York (SUNY) and the City University of New York (CUNY) since 2002, but claims that each year, “many talented students who graduate from New York high schools remain unable to fulfill their potential simply because they cannot afford the tuition and lack access to tuition assistance to help pay for school.”

Last year, Gov. Cuomo famously spearheaded a program to make tuition free-of-charge at SUNY and CUNY, which is available during the 2018-2019 school year to all resident students with a family income of up to $110,000.

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Now, he’s taking it one step further by extending free tuition under his “Excelsior Scholarship Program” to students who reside in the country illegally, according to his FY ‘19 budget briefing.

“The DREAM Act will give undocumented students access to the new Excelsior Scholarship, the Tuition Assistance Program, as well as other state-administered scholarship,” it states, declaring that “an investment in young immigrants’ futures is an investment in New York’s future.”

Cuomo announced the new budget during his annual Executive Budget Address, where he touted his record of restoring “fiscal discipline while achieving historic progressive accomplishment and strengthening middle class New Yorkers.”

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“The FY 2019 Budget builds on our strong record and continues to move New York forward, by protecting taxpayers against the federal assault, investing in education to support and train the next generation, and implementing bold progressive policies to make New York a more just and fair state for all," he remarked, promising a bright future for all his constituents.

"Together, we will continue to deliver on the promise of progressive government—even while tackling unprecedented challenges head on. We will restore citizen confidence and ensure management competence,” he continued. “This bold agenda charts a path forward toward a better future for all New Yorkers.”

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