WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District, Bronx County, New York
El Diario la Prensa is Following My Lead
You should know that El Diaro la Prensa is following my lead – yes, the lead of Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz – and the political movement I began last year asking my colleagues in the New York State Senate, especially the Hispanic Senators, unite and to not vote for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Budget unless it includes the Dream Act.
You should know that I worked very hard on this movement to Unite for Dream Act during last year’s Budget negotiations, and I was disappointed that my colleagues who advocate for the Dream Act on behalf of their constituents in public, did not unite with me and insist for the Dream Act to be included in the State Budget. You should also know that I have not given up and instead, I am more determined than ever for a vote of unity against any Budget that does recognize the immigrant.
In my March 12, 2013 column, What You Should Know column titled Hispanic Legislators: Put Up or Shut Up, urging the 6 Hispanic Senators and almost 15 Hispanic Members of the New York State Assembly:
"If they really want to fight for the Dream Act and if they honestly want it to be part of the Budget, then let all of the Hispanic legislators – let all of us in the Senate and in the Assembly – come together and take a vote that we will not vote for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Budget – none of it – not one single part of it – unless it includes the Dream Act. Let the Governor pass the Budget without the Hispanic vote, and let us show our repudiation of him and his Budget plan of ignoring the immigrants."
Today’s editorial in El Diario la Prensa agrees with me. Although they did not credit me, Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz, for my efforts to be sure that no Hispanic legislator votes for the Budget without the Dream Act, I am very glad they are standing beside me in this effort.
Below is a copy of today's editorial from El Diario la Prensa.
And once again, I ask all of my colleagues in the Senate and in the Assembly, especially the Hispanic Members of the State Legislature, to stand united with me and oppose the upcoming Budget if it does not include the Dream Act.
This is Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz and this is what you should know.
Unity on the NY Dream Act
Editorial/El Diario la Prensa
The New York Legislature is about to approve the budget, and as things stand, the state's Dream Act bill will be shelved once again. Hispanic lawmakers—who represent many Dreamers—can prevent this if they unite and make it clear to Senate leaders and Gov. Andrew Cuomo that they will vote "NO" on the budget package unless it includes the Dream Act.
Lawmakers have had this bill, which attempts to do what other states have done and give eligible undocumented students access to state financial aid for college, for several years. During the current session, the Assembly finally drafted a balanced version that was recently approved, along with $25 million to pay for it.
The Senate, controlled by Republicans and Independent Democrats, refuses to include this bill in the budget, despite its economic benefits in the long term. Hispanic senators support the bill, which makes sense, since it's a priority for their constituents. They have sent messages to Cuomo and attended Dream Act demonstrations.
But their actions haven't yielded results. Senate leaders and Cuomo clearly don't understand the importance of this law. However, when it's convenient for them, they talk about the contributions immigrants make, their concern about low high school and college graduation rates, and how important educating minorities is to the state's economic well-being.
Now, it's time to show that this bill is extremely important. The course of action in Albany will affect the future of 200,000 immigrant students who graduated from our public schools to start or continue their college studies. This major budget, with essential laws like a minimum wage increase, must also include the Dream Act. Hispanic lawmakers and others who believe in providing equal education opportunities must reject the budget proposal unless the Dream Act is in it.