“Point of Personal Privilege”
It is with great disappointment that I rise today.
Today, Senate Republicans are playing the role of obstructionists. A role in which they are far too comfortable.
Senate Resolution number 3513, a resolution that urges the New York State Congressional delegation to support passage of the federal DREAM Act, has been blocked from coming to the floor today for no reason.
· The resolution was submitted timely, yet was denied by the Republicans without cause.
· The resolution has a New York nexus and is permitted under Senate Rule VI sec 9(b).
· I received notification that the resolution would not be on the calendar at 8 am this morning, when members per Senate custom are usually notified in advance. (Friday afternoon).
· Resolutions like this (urging the congressional delegation) are not uncommon, Republicans have passed them in prior years (i.e. J7014 of 2007, J3261 of 2007, J5332 of 2009, J631 of 2011 and J1337 of 2011).
Senate Republicans, once again, have demonstrated their true colors to the people of this great state.
Just a few weeks ago, in January, we witnessed them playing politics by censoring a women’s health resolution. In the interest of continuing the theme of obstruction, today they block a resolution rooted in equality, higher education attainment, and the American dream.
By blocking this resolution, Senate Republicans have solidified their opposition to seeing economic growth and progress in immigrant communities, in communities across New York State, and in communities across the contry.
Providing undocumented students with access to financial aid will have a positive impact on New York’s economy. It is estimated that the average DREAM Act student who obtains a college degree will make $1 million or more over his or her lifetime, allowing them to contribute tens of thousands of dollars to New York’s economy.
According to the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy, undocumented immigrants paid over $662 million in taxes to New York State in 2010, making it the state with the fourth highest revenue in taxes from undocumented immigrants. They paid approximately; $104.4 million in personal income taxes, $95 million in property taxes, and over $463 million in sales taxes.
The National Skills Coalition reports that New York is facing a shortage of workers who have the required skill level for most job openings. New York would benefit greatly from undocumented students receiving access to a college education. In fact, NSC also estimates that 39% of all future job openings will require at least an associate’s degree.
Back in October of 2011, during the Unidad Latina Conference in Manhattan, Senate Republicans stated that The Unidad Latina Conference, “is an outreach by the Senate Majority to the Latino community. We want to listen, we want to learn, and we're going to help you grow jobs,” .
Talk is cheap! Adopting Senate Resolution number 3513 would have shown their commitment to the statement made during Unidad Latina, however, sadly their actions today have proven quite the opposite.
¡Si Se Puede!