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DREAM Fund Passes New York State Assembly
Chairman Felix W. Ortiz is proud to announce that after facing major scrutiny and controversy, the DREAM Fund passed the New York State Assembly Floor yesterday with 138 votes on the affirmative. Alongside immigration advocates, supporters, and thousands of immigrants throughout the state, Ortiz applauds this victory and commends those who fought tirelessly and passionately for a law that has the potential to boost our economy, educate our youth and continue New York’s legacy of speaking out for those without a voice. Although the fate of this bill is uncertain in the Senate, the voting record in the Assembly shows that it holds bi-partisan support.
The DREAM Fund creates a private scholarship that people can donate to in exchange for tax credits. To benefit from this fund a person does not need to be a U.S. citizen or a holder of a Permanent Resident card, often known as a “Green Card.” Instead any person who is the child of an immigrant can apply for this scholarship. However, this bill ensures that those who benefit are tax paying persons contributing to the community; applicants must show a valid social security number, employer identification number or a tax identification number. This was established since, under New York State law, an undocumented alien can apply and be granted a tax identification number for tax payment purposes. This provision tackles opponents’ fears that granting undocumented immigrants’ eligibility for TAP funds would offset the balance by reducing the aid that citizens and residents currently receive.
Chairman Felix W. Ortiz is hopeful this bill will become law and consequently pave the way for further immigration-friendly legislation. “As a state built by immigrants, New York must accommodate those who make diligent sacrifices to work toward a better life and thus a better economy. The talent and the will of immigrants must be tapped into by providing the resources they need to become successful” said Ortiz. The New York State Puerto Rican and Hispanic Task Force members join Ortiz in this statement: “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, introducer of the bill. Chairman Ortiz would like to remind New Yorkers that although this battle was won, there is still a road of challenges ahead that together we can tackle.