Cuomo Gives Up on the New York Dream Act

The battle to secure state-level Dream Acts continue.

While Texas and Kansas mobilize to ensure that in-state tuition stays in place for undocumented students, the state of New York has taken an unexpected turn. Governor Andrew Cuomo, whose re-election campaign relied on the promise of passing the NY Dream Act, has turned his back on the undocumented community by calling the inclusion of the measure in the state’s budget “pointless.”

The Governor’s move comes after the state legislature could not link an education tax credit (supported by Republicans) to the NY Dream Act (supported by Democrats) during the budget negotiation process. Instead of sticking to his campaign promise and backing up his own party, Cuomo abandoned what could possibly be the only strategy that could secure the bill’s passage. A poor show of leadership by a Democratic governor within a Deep-Blue state. With no chance to make it through the state’s legislature as a standalone measure, advocates have pledged to hold Governor Cuomo accountable and are launching efforts to try to put the NY Dream Act back in the budget negotiations.

César Vargas, a New York resident and Co-Director of the DRM Action Coalition, provided the following comments to Latino Rebels:

By not including the Dream Act in the budget, the Governor effectively abandoned Dreamers along with the increased tax revenue that comes with a college-educated work force. There will be fewer talented engineers and doctors educated and working in our state as many Dreamers will have to continue to delay plans that would contribute to New York.”

The New York State Youth Leadership Council (NYSYLC), an undocumented youth advocacy group, also provided us with the following reaction:

We will not settle for anything other than the New York Dream Act, that is, equal access to state financial aid for undocumented students in New York. We will not welcome empty education funds or separate and uncertain scholarship programs reserved only for certain students. We are here to see the New York Dream Act become a reality and for undocumented immigrants across New York to obtain a higher education.

A hunger strike has already been launched by 50+ advocates, who are pledging not to eat or drink until the NY Dream Act is revived within budget negotiations.

We are asking our readers to join the effort and support the undocumented students in the state of New York. Will you sign this petition demanding that Governor Cuomo delivers on his promise and included the New York Dream Act in the state’s budget?

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Juan Escalante is the Latino Rebels Tumblr editor. You can follow him @JuanSaaa.

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