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Know Your Rights
Source: Daily News
Subject: Immigration
Type: Media Coverage

DREAM Act supporters and Republicans each oppose Gov. Cuomo plan to link issue with education tax credit–but for different reasons

A leading group pushing for creation of a state DREAM Act and Senate Republicans are not happy that Gov. Cuomo is set to tie the issue to passage of an education investment tax credit–but for different reasons.

Responding to a report in Wednesday’s Daily News detailing the plan, Make the Road NY issued a statement critical of the idea. DREAM Act supporters believe that including it in the same budget bill as the education tax credit serves as a poison pill.

“It’s critical that the NY State Dream Act be included in the State budget to allow more undocumented students the opportunity to achieve their dreams, but this key issue should not be linked to a tax giveaway to private schools that will hurt our public education system,” said DREAM Act advocate Antonio Alarcon in a statement issued by Make the Road NY.

“Every year thousands of undocumented students drop out of school because they have no hope of accessing higher education. This is a critical matter that deserves consideration on its own. We must ensure access to higher education for all, while protecting the public education system. Education should not be a privilege to some New Yorkers; it must be accessible to everyone.”

Republicans, who oppose the DREAM Act but support the education tax credit, also aren’t too happy.

The Senate GOP last year during their campaigns vehemently opposed using state taxpayer dollars on undocumented immigrants.

Prior to Cuomo’s combined State of the State/budget address Wednesday afternoon, the Senate GOP plans to pass a separate bill creating just the tax credit.

The DREAM Act would allow state tuition assistance dollars to be used on the college kids of undocumented immigrants. It is supported by many Democrats, the Hispanic community, and Timothy Cardinal Dolan and the state’s other Catholic bishops.

But Dolan and the bishops, as well as private and parochial schools,have made enactment of a tax credit for those who donate to schools a top priority for the coming year.

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