Sen. Jose Peralta, a Democrat and prime sponsor of a bill to create a state DREAM Act, invoked conservative Texas Gov. Rick Perry in urging his Republican colleagues to support the measure.
"We have an opportunity here in New York to build on the growing national consensus, among business, labor and Republican and Democratic leaders, on both the need for immigration reform and the obvious economic benefits of reform.”
The Peralta DREAM Act bill would allow allow state financial assistance to go to the college kids of illegal immigrants.
Perry signed a different version of the DREAM Act that allows the kids of undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition at Texas state colleges.
"And clearly there is the political will for campaign financing, but not for helping young immigrants get a college degree.
“Senate Republicans argued against using tax dollars for campaign financing, just as they had previously argued against spending tax revenue on the DREAM Act.
"But whereas the Senate’s house budget features campaign financing, it excludes the DREAM Act, kicking to the curb, yet again, the hopes and aspirations of young people whose zeal to live, work, pay taxes and prosper in this great country is being held against them.
"I am happy about the inclusion of campaign financing, which I wholeheartedly support. I am deeply disappointed and frustrated by the exclusion of the DREAM Act.
"I call on the governor and my Republican Senate colleagues to seize the opportunitywe have here in New York to build on the growing national consensus around theneed for immigration reform and the obvious economic benefits of doing right by our young people.”
State Senate leaders are balking at efforts to give the DREAM Act a second life as part of the state’s budget.
The measure, which came two votes short of approval in the Senate earlier this week, is not being discussed in budget negotiations, said Bronx Sen. Jeff Klein, leader of the Independent Democratic Conference.
The DREAM Act would enable the children of undocumented immigrants to receive state tuition assistance. After the bill failed in the Senate, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) said he would push to include as part of the budget.
Students and activists rallied outside Gov. Cuomo’s office Thursday pushing for him to include the DREAM Act in the budget.
Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) and Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Queens) also sent a letter to Cuomo urging him to push for the measure in the budget.
I would call them the legion of gloom and doom, but that would greatly exaggerate their numbers and significance.
I am talking about the people trying to sell the idea that Monday’s state Senate vote on the DREAM Act — 30 in favor, 29 opposed — was somehow a “near-fatal blow” or an “enormous setback” because the bill, which would grant state tuition aid to undocumented immigrants, fell two votes short of passing.
That prognosis is entirely blind to political reality or is the product of wishful thinking.
The conventional wisdom back in the summer, when planning for the current legislative session began, was that election-year dynamics would keep the DREAM Act from making any kind of progress during the 2014 legislative session.
What nobody saw coming back then was the wave of progressive zeal that would be ushered in by the election of Mayor de Blasio.
Nueva York – Cuando parecía olvidada, la propuesta de ley para que inmigrantes indocumentados soliciten licencias de conducir sumó el respaldo de la organización Transportation Alternatives, que promueve el uso del transporte público, y The Worker's Justice Center of NY, entidad pro trabajadores agrícolas del norte del estado.
El apoyo de esta última es clave por el área donde opera ya que puede sumar el respaldo de residentes y legisladores de Albany, Kingston y Rochester.
El senador José Peralta (D-Queens) argumenta que su propuesta de licencia para indocumentados aborda dos asuntos críticos, "oportunidad económica y seguridad en las calles, y por eso el apoyo a esta legislación seguirá creciendo".
Sin embargo, hasta ahora ese no ha sido el caso. Las dos principales legislaciones migratorias presentadas, el Dream Act y las licencias para indocumentados, se han estancado en la legislatura a pesar que Nueva York es un estado demócrata y progresista.
Ambas propuestas han sido introducidas más de una vez pero según expertos, ni los políticos ni los activistas han sabido articular su importancia económica.
State Senator Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst), the lead sponsor of the Senate Dream Act bill in the Senate, said he was extremely disappointed and infuriated because the DREAM Act was taken out of the State’s budget. “It’s déjà vu all over again,” he said.
But Senator Peralta noted that who really lost today with this unfair and unjust action were New York State and the DREAMers. “New York State and the DREAMers have really lost out today, again. New York State because we had an opportunity to really live up to our distinction of being a state of innovators and progressive thinkers, and the DREAMers because they had hoped to attend and graduate college and pave the way for the next generation.”
Senator Peralta added, “I, as well as many others, were extremely disappointed, infuriated and devastated by this move.”
Senator Peralta blamed the Republicans for the exclusion of the DREAM Act from the budget. “Another year of false fear mongering propaganda led by the Senate majority, perpetuating an intolerant and xenophobic ideology that the sky will fall if we allow these undocumented kids to receive money from the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). Republicans are just promoting lies,” Senator Peralta said.
The DREAM Act will cost up to $27 millions in an almost $142 billion budget. “To understand how illogical Republicans are on this issue, the Dream Act will pay for itself in a few years. And to translate into what it would cost to help undocumented college students for taxpayers, it amounts to 87 cents a year. You cannot even buy a cup of coffee with 87 cents,” Senator Peralta said.
Senator Peralta called on Governor Andrew Cuomo to use his political clout, just like he did with Marriage Equality, the Safe Act and even ethics reform. “I call upon the Governor to keep his promise and use his political capital to ensure that the DREAM Act is passed before the end of this session,” Senator Peralta said. “I will do anything in my power to help Governor Cuomo make the DREAM Act a reality and right a wrong for our DREAMers.”