The New York State Assembly has once again passed the DREAM Act, which would provide financial aid to undocumented immigrants.
But Republicans in the state Senate oppose the bill, objecting to allocating taxpayer funds to helping undocumented immigrants who broke the law.
Let’s have some context here.
The people who would be helped by the DREAM Act came here mostly as children, too young to make the decision themselves. They should not be punished for a decision their parents made, or a decision that in many cases was made literally at the barrel of a gun. So many undocumented immigrants in America came to this country to escape certain death.
This would also be a net plus for New York.
Undocumented immigrants without an adequate education will not be able to find work, and will ultimately end up relying on taxpayer-funded social welfare programs like Medicaid and food stamps. In the long run, that will cost taxpayers more than providing them assistance in achieving a college education.
A person with a college degree also has a good chance of landing a good-paying job or becoming an entrepreneur him or herself, in which that individual would be investing in the economy, and most importantly, paying taxes, putting back into the country’s coffers perhaps more than was spent to help them achieve the goal of a college education.
The DREAMers are not asking for a hand out, they’re asking for a boost. Let’s put aside the judgment and help them become productive members of our society – the next generation of immigrants in a country built by people who came from elsewhere. If they have the grades and the ambition, we can’t lose by helping them achieve it; our country can only win, as it has for two centuries.
We call on the state Senate to finally pass the DREAM Act, and we call on Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who says he supports the bill, to push the Senate Republicans to pass it. He’s gotten legislation he supports through the Republican Senate before, there’s little reason he can’t do it now.