With budget negotions in a bit of a tangle and new deals floated every day, one policy that hasn't recieved much attention is the DREAM Act that would give undocumented youth tuition assistance to attend college.
So far it seems that Speaker Sheldon Silver is fighting a losing battle to push for some sort of funding for the program to be included in the budget.
Sen. Jose Peralta has continually called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to make The DREAM Act part of his budget and to lead on the issue but so far it hasn't worked.
Cuomo has been quiet on the issue and a spokesman told the Gazette last week that Cuomo supports the federal DREAM Act but is considering proposals on the state level.
The DREAM Act could be dealt with outside of the budget, but most insiders think that budget negotiations gives proponents the strongest hand to negotiate.
Peralta issued this statement praising Cuomo while pleading with him to fight for The DREAM Act in the budget:
It took great courage and leadership to achieve marriage equality in New York and to pass the toughest gun laws in the country. Rather than wait on the federal government to do something, Governor Cuomo instead showed the federal government how to get big, important, meaningful things done.
On behalf of all Dreamers, I am urging Governor Cuomo to again bring to bear his great courage, considerable political skills and extraordinary leadership abilities in getting something big, important and meaningful done. And make no mistake: Immigration reform is important and most certainly needs to get done.
As a sound investment in our state’s workforce and future that would eventually pay for itself many times over, the Dream Act belongs in the budget.
The Dream Act means far too much to far too many people to continue to be ignored.”