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The Call Blog: New Yorkers React To Albany Rejecting DREAM Act

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As an immigrant who went through all the necessary steps and documentation to become a citizen, I can say, through first-hand experience, how expensive, time-consuming and exhausting the process is. You need a lawyer just to get you through the process. This is not the America your great-great-grandparents came to anymore. And until we remove the red tape and make it easier for people to become citizens, we will see more and more undocumented people in the country.



Immigration advocacy groups were back lobbying in Albany today, one day after state senators rejected the New York DREAM Act. By a vote of 30-29, lawmakers narrowly defeated the measure that would have made taxpayer-funded financial aid available to college students who are in the country illegally.

The bill already passed the Democratic-controlled State Assembly and has the support of Governor Cuomo. But no Republicans in the Senate voted for the measure last night. Opponents argue tax dollars should not be used for State aid for undocumented families while "law-abiding families are struggling to meet the ever-increasing costs of higher education." What do you say?

Are you pleased or disappointed to learn the DREAM Act isn't moving forward in Albany this year? Should the children of undocumented New Yorkers be denied access to financial aid because of the actions of their parents? How is the cost of higher education affecting you or your family?

Send your thoughts using the link above.



What has happened to the Democrats??? Honestly! Vote those breakaway guys OUT.
Such a disappointment with this and with the charter-focused education direction.
Sigh.

Anni
Manhattan



What is it that the people that benefit by these different gifts are always the ones
for it. Always at the tax payers expense. Why is it that American citizens born here
in this country can’t get a break on their loans. If we break the law we have to suffer
the consequences. Everyone is getting a free pass for everything and we pick up the
tab as always. Just like the Pre-k, raising the minimum wage, giving financial assistance,
a break on their housing, carfare and the list is endless. We the citizens born here always
seem to have to say may I or act like we must walk on egg shells. The new administration
has divided people by granting their every wish just to make life easier for them and
meanwhile we are left in the dust.

Maxxiee
Morris Park



Well, it's like this - it is our taxpayer money.
Taxpayers children have a hard enough time
getting enough financial aid as it is.
If the illegal immigrant children don't get enough,
how will they get loans ?
Do the parents pay taxes ?
If they are undocumented - how will anyone know ?
What about undocumented workers - and the places that
employ them ?

What will it mean in terms of reduction
for the taxpayers children ?
There is only so much money.

Please name any other country(ies) that
give illegal immigrants this many rights.

Esmerelda
East Village



this doesn't affect me but I am the granddaughter of immigrants and when they came to this country, their first priority was becoming United States Citizens which they did to afford themselves a good education and a good paying job. I think 70 years later, this still should apply.

Jeanne
Jamaica



I'm dissapointed the DREAM act isn't going through Albany, everyone that lives in this great country deserves a college education even if they're illegals or not thats the only way to get a high paying job. The seniors that are graduating in June should enroll in a college and further their education some of them are smart that's how they become Scholar athletes of the week

Herman
Upper West Side



The Republicans are correct on this issue. The more the government gives away the more people will take. We must cut government spending. There no incentive to get off welfare. Are we going to have to put other people's children to bed?

People who work hard and pay taxes get nothing. How about offering them an incentive for staying off welfare?

Kate
Midtown East



I'm a citizen and pay taxes . But struggle everyday to put my son through college . Why should illegals have the same rights ? I'm glad the bill didn't pass

Danielle
Harlem



REWARD THOSE THAT PLAY BY THE RULES. PRISONERS AND ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS SHOULD NOT ENJOY TAXPAYER FUNDED FINANCIAL AID. THIS COUNTRY IS GIVING AWAY THE RANCH AND EXPECTS MY GREAT GRAND KIDS TO PAY FOR ALL THESE ILL

JOE
BAY TERRACE



The first thing we must recognize is that it is not immigration. Immigrants are tose who come to a country to take up permanent residence! They are not immigrans, they are illegal aliens who believe that because they are here already, they are here permanently just for being here. They have broken the law, they are also criminals for breaking that our laws? But there is something more imporant right now and that is that we gather the names of tose representators who went over the voice of the people and voted upo their own bias. You will be surpised to learn that the person who fostered the bill Mr. Peralta, is Spanish. Thus, what we must do now is gather the names of the representatives who voted for te bill and make sure they aer not reelected to office. What a disgrace our government is. Anyone who takes an oath to uphold the laws and our Costitution then turns around and disregards both, the office of congressman is the last place they belong.



Why do we who have no children have to pay to educate other people's children? Why are we forced by the power of government to do that? If you can't afford to pay for the education of your own children, don't have them.

Joe
Port Richmond



After reading that the DREAM Act was being rejected, and hearing about it this morning, I,am disappointed due to the fact that the DREAM Act is not moving forward. There should not be any reason why it should be rejected. I,am also disappointed that children who are especially immigrants are being denied access to financial aid because of what they are. It is really unfair because knowing that the economy has been rough on us everyone is loosing jobs and are struggling to pay their bills and their children's college tuitions. Also there should not be any children of undocumented New Yorkers being denied access to financial aid because colleges are really expensive as well as private schools. Now how are these children are going to pay for their colleges if their parents don't have the money for it ? I feel like the state senate are very wrong for their actions on doing this, and that they should at least give these children a chance to have access to financial aid and to have a higher education because if they deny a child from having the right education then where would their future go ? Also it disappoints me that these children are being denied access to financial aid because the state senate should know that there are going to be a lot of dropout rates going up instead of going down. And as a high school student there should not be any children of any race being denied to higher education. If they want higher education,Then they should be allowed to have higher education without being denied. Also there should not be any children of any race being denied to have financial aid because if they want financial aid for extra support on paying for their education then let them have access to it without being denied.



I don't think it makes any sense whatsoever for tax payers in NY to subsidize education for people who are undocumented and/or living in the US. Not when we have citizens who cannot afford to get an education. If we have extra money to spend let's spend it on kids who are here legally so that we don't have so many kids graduating with so much debt. The costs for college have skyrocketed by grants and loan programs have not kept up with the costs. If people want to have benefits they should be here legally.

Audrey
Clinton Hill



Yes, I am extremely PLEASED that the DREAM Act didn't go forward! And yes, illegal New Yorkers should be denied aid.

As far as, should they be denied access to financial aid because of the action of their parents; should citizens be denied access to financial aid because they're told that their parent(s) make too much money, although they're struggling?

First and foremost, welfare financial aid, medicade, etc. are benefits that should only be available to citizens. There are a lot of students in New York who are in need of help. Don't take away from our own citizens.

Jackie
Harlem



"Should kids of undocumented immigrants have access to taxpayer-funded financial aid?"
The question you meant to ask is should hard working students that find themselves without documentation through no fault of their own, be afforded the chance to build a future for themselves by going to college, or should they be relegated to a life of low wage jobs and exploitation?
Immigrants have built NYC and this nation for hundreds of years, and today comprise 44% of NYC's workforce and contribute $210bn in economic activity annually. If their spending and tax dollars are good enough to support the economy, the state should help them pursue their dreams with access to financial aid for college.

Thousands of youth are provided with a publicly funded education through high school graduation-- it simply makes no sense to not help them earn a college degree which will allow them to build meaningful careers and contribute increased tax revenues. States like California, Texas, New Mexico and Washington have already realized this and passed their own versions of the DREAM Act-- New York needs to be a leader in this space.
And this is not a zero-sum game, we can help more middle class families access the state Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) while also helping students without documentation access it. Our goal should not be to divide students seeking college based on documentation, but to commit to supporting the dream of all students to go to college.

If the Governor and Senator Klein are serious about their support of the DREAM Act, they need to include it in final budget.

Kevin
Upper East Side



What is the point of helping an undocumented alien get a decree when their status will not allow them to use that education to get a job in the white collar world? The infrastructure in our city and country is falling apart. Why not steer these kids towards the trades?



I hate that the State Senate choose Saint Patrick's Day as the day to vote down the Dream Act. Every State Senator who voted against it on a day that celebrates the contributions that immigrants have given to both this city and state and they choose to dishonor that legacy. Anyone who wore green yesterday should take this as an affront to their Irish Ancestry. I know that I do.

John
Kew Gardens



Hi John. The cost of education is keeping my own daughter from attending college. As for myself, I am a senior citizen still paying my own student loans and see no end to that. I am a citizen, have always been, so is my daughter, has always been...we work, even I, well into my sixties, still work to take care of my needs and pay my student loans. She has to work two/three jobs to save enough to get into school. Why should people who are here without any authorization to be here, demand and expect to receive financial aid to attend school? They can go to school but they should pay like everyone else has had to.

Nothing against them; what's fair is fair, and that's not fair.

Silvia
Parkchester



I am very happy to hear that the dream act will not move forward. Illegal immigrants shouldn't have the same rights as citizens. Tax payers money should go towards helping American citizens not illegals. Parents should think twice about breaking the law and the repercussions this has on their children.

Susan
Astoria



If tables were turned and we were in foreign counties do u think they would help Americans?

Barbara



Even though I admire and applaud young people who are striving for knowledge, education, and self-improvement, I do not see how the Dream Act will improve their lives if they can not obtain legal status. How are they going to find employment commensurate to their education if they are not allowed to work legally?! They can not be legally hired without a proper immigration status, can they?
So the Dream Act is not a solution - legalize them and they will be able to obtain financial aid!

I also do not understand what are people talking about when they say "undocumented immigrants pay taxes" - what taxes? Property, sales??? They can not LEGALLY work and many of them do not have SSN - how can they possibly file taxes and claim any illegally obtained income?! Could someone please explain this to me, thus is not a rhetorical question, I really would like to understand this.

BK
Brooklyn Heights



This is the "Land of the free", but not for American tax paying citizens! Then why should we pay for non tax paying individuals. I have no problem with my taxes paying for citizens. Colleges have a certain amount of spaces and Americans should be first.

Gary NYC



There is a common misapprehension that illegal immigrants are a drain on our society. That is a canard propagated by xenophobic right-wing media. Illegal immigrants--just like legal immigrants--offer a boost to our economy. They work extremely hard and they pay taxes. Children of illegal immigrants deserve opportunities to better their lives just like everyone else. And with college as expensive as it is these days, they deserve financing via the Dream Act. We cannot wait for dysfunctional Washington to fix our immigration system, and in the meantime New Yorkers need to lead the way to offer immigrants a new and better life.

Giles
West Village



It's a good thing that it didn't pass. If I was in Mexico illegally they law says I have to pay a $500 fine and jail for 3 years. They come here and take advantage of our services. I'm tired of paying more taxes to cover illegal aliens expenses especially when I'm already paying for my fellow Americans

Shawn
Bushwick



To Luis....everyone does not have a fair chance in the pursuit of happiness (education) when American citizens are struggling to work and pay for an education....and everybody else's education.

Silvia
Parkchester



I'm mixed on this topic. On one hand I feel bad for the kids of illegal immigrants because they didn't choose the cards they were dealt.
On the other hand (perhaps harshly), their parents knew the situation in which they'd be bringing their children into and CHOSE to do so anyway.

I think everyone should have the right to an education; unfortunately before I think about paying for illegal immigrants to go to school, I think about my parents working like dogs to pay my student loans.

Dominique
Midtown West



My husband I are both city workers about to retiree. Fair is fair!! Everyone pays taxes!! America is giving undocumented illegal aliens too many perks to remain in America. What other country in the world would not only allow so much illegal immigration but provide them with social service programs and assistance than the good old USA?
It's crazy!! Yes to legal immigrats. Illegal is illegal. Because your able to make it to America doesn't entitle you to receive public money as legal Americans would like to. It's not one big melting pot when your illegal. I cannot send my daughter to anywhere in the world to attend college at that country's expense. My vote would absolutely be no!! Get on the line with those here legally

Marcia
Walden, NY



Citizens deserve services not illegals.
I and my family have worked and continue to work to pay off existing loans.

Regards immigrants...yes there are plenty but the callers are ignoring US History.
Lets Remember Ellis island.
Let's remember the original settlers they came to this country and worked for years to emerge from end entires status.

In sum if you break the law be prepared to do the time.

Jose
Woodside



I believe that any child born here should have the chance to obtain an education. America was and is being built by immigrants.

At least they are very hard working.

What the politicians should go after are the welfare cheats and freeloaders who should be stripped of their American citizenship and then be deported. If you don't want to work here in the U.S.A., get out!!!

Gary
Flushing



In response to an email calling the DREAM act the "patriotic thing to do," I believe the patriotic thing to do would be to help undocumented students become citizens, which our government should be doing for people who want to live their lives here. Immigrant students should be given Citizenship and English classes during school hours, and opportunities to take the citizenship test. The emphasis on Regents Exams can wait until these students progress towards citizenship. Then, they can be given access to scholarship programs built by the descendants of immigrants who became citizens themselves.

Ryan
Arden Heights



Financial aid requires income verification but if the applicant is undocumented how can their income be legitimate? The answer is it can't and that's why this is another liberal giveaway.

John
Astoria



Let's not forget that undocumented students cannot get student loans.
I think it is totally reasonable to allow undocumented students the ability to take out student loans and be ridiculously indebted like the rest of us. Especially since their taxes and the taxes of their parents are supporting these programs.

Scott



Why are people that are not well informed calling to give an opinion?
Immigrant students pay out of states taxes all through out college no matter what they will always pay more than citizens. They pay their taxes, why not receive help? They're not asking for a free education they're just asking to not be charged out of states taxes and to be able to apply for financial aid if they qualify great if they don't I'm pretty sure they're willing to work for it like they have been doing. We are all immigrants in this country "Americans" stop being so greedy.

Natalie
Queens



I am glad the Dream Act was not passed. I was born here and never got a free education. Any illegals should take the proper channels to become an American citizen. Why can’t any born citizens get some free education? This is not fair.

Dorian
The Bronx



I am not at all surprise at this outcome. In fact I predicted this would happen. Politicians are generally dirty and will sell their souls for a vote. Unfortunately most people seeking citizenship or the so-called Dream Act were desperately naive. There is no tooth fairy. By listening to your show I can hear a lot of mean spirited remarks. All Puerto Ricans are citizens of this country, including myself, but yet most of us do not treat undocumented visitors to this country with such animosity because we have empathy. Some people with the haute attitude should try living in the poverty that is caused in their countries because of the USA occupancy whether legal or illegal.

Gloria



I think everyone should pay the way.
And I me payment can be in different forms.
For eg.
If they can't afford monetary, have the perform services, jobs of some kind.
And what about other races, it seems this on only focus on Latinos and certain stereotype.
What about people from European Whites, i don't see them anywhere in all this.
Is it that they are given more or better opportunity to become citizens.

Gerald

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