Assembly To Pass Legislation to Help Children of Immigrants
May 7, 2012
Around Town – By Neal Tepel
Assembly will pass legislation to create a DREAM Fund to help children of immigrants pay for college.
“This legislation supports the dreams and academic aspirations of the children of immigrants at no additional cost to taxpayers,” said Speaker Silver. “These are young adults striving to climb the ladder to success and this legislation will reduce the cost of education and make it easier for our hardworking immigrant families to save for college.”
The legislation (A.8689B) creates the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Fund Commission which will raise private funds to provide scholarships to college-bound children with at least one parent who is an immigrant. The fund will make family tuition accounts available to anyone who provides a valid taxpayer identification number.
“As long as there has been the United States of America, there has been one overriding American Dream: that people could come here, from around the world, and they would have the opportunity to work hard and build a better life for their families” said Assemblyman Moya. “The DREAM Fund Commission will keep that dream alive for children of immigrants with the potential to achieve greatness. This is also a critical step towards ending the discrimination against children of immigrants that is currently drawing nationwide attention. I applaud this legislation and my colleagues in the Assembly for taking a pioneering approach and supporting the American ideal held in the dreams of our immigrant communities.”
The commission would be comprised of 12 members that reflect the racial, ethnic, gender, language, and geographic diversity of NYS and include college and university administrators, faculty and other individuals committed to advancing the educational opportunities of the children of immigrants.
The family tuition accounts have been federally approved since 2002 and are similar to state-run programs in California and Illinois. The account is administered and investment choices are made by the NYS comptroller. These accounts allow for systematic savings, making it easier for New York’s hardworking immigrant families to save for their children’s futures.
"We applaud Assemblyman Francisco Moya, Speaker Sheldon Silver, and the rest of the NYS Assembly for passing the NYS DREAM Fund," said Javier H. Valdes, Co-Executive Director of Make the Road New York. "We will work tirelessly now until the end of session to ensure that the DREAM Fund passes the NYS Senate."