Plans to expand college aid for Caribbean immigrant youth
The State’s Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has joined with his counterpart, Francisco Moya, and the State’s Higher Education Committee Chair, Deborah J Glick, in introducing the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.
The bill, if it becomes law, would provide educational support for tens of thousands Caribbean and other immigrant youth.
The provision would, for the first time, permit immigrant students to apply for state financial aid, as well as create a DREAM Fund that would provide private scholarships.
“Our immigrant families, like many struggling in these trying economic times, need financial help to achieve their educational goals. As a child of immigrants, I know that investing in these inspiring students represents an investment in our future” he said.
The bill would make New York one of just four states – the others are Texas, New Mexico, and California – to offer state financial aid to the children of immigrants.
The legislation would also give young Caribbean and other immigrants access to a broad range of state educational opportunity programmes, such as Tuition Assistance Programme (TAP), Higher Education Opportunity Programme (HEOP) and Educational Opportunity Programme (EOP).
The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) has hailed the tabling of the bill, stating that passage into law would “provide undocumented students with equal access to financial assistance so they can pursue their dreams of higher education.”