Statement from LatinoJustice PRLDEF President on NY Senate’s Failure to pass DREAM Act provisions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 29, 2014 CONTACT: John Garcia, Director of Communications, 212-739-7513, 917-673-9095 or jgarcia@latinojustice.org.

The New York State Senate recently failed to pass the DREAM Act. Had it passed, New York would have become the fifth state to enact laws which would have allowed state financial aid programs to cover the children of undocumented immigrants. Juan Cartagena, LatinoJustice PRLDEF President and General Counsel said:

“Those of us who live and work in New York State have been accustomed to working with the best and the brightest. The State boasts having the world centers of finance, fashion, philanthropy, theatre and art. We are the leaders in all things urban. We are the trend setters. Add the Statute of Liberty and the role that New York’s shores have played for the State and the country on immigration, to this first-class milieu and you expect leadership, you expect innovation, you expect the best on immigration assimilation as well.

This weekend the Governor, the Speaker of the Assembly and the leadership of the State Senate failed to lead. They failed in securing the necessary funding to ensure that our State’s future leaders in the immigrant community get equal access to the beneficence of higher education financing. They failed to lift the most practical of all barriers to achieving a top-rate workforce by omitting financing in the State budget for tuition assistance for undocumented, bright, college-age students.

California, New Mexico, Texas and Washington somehow seem to do it. Those states lead and see the future.

New York, instead of leading, cannot even seem to follow on this common sense approach to making Dreams possible for so many deserving immigrant youth.

This is not what we expect from a first-class State. Not what we expect from our leadership. And not what we expect from the very shores that welcomed our country’s prior waves of Dream-inspired immigrants.

To Governor Cuomo, Speaker Silver and Senators Klein and Skelos, we say fix this. Fix it now. And put New York at the forefront of improving our workforce, strengthening our Latino communities, and inspiring immigrant Dreams.”

“Vivir en Nueva York es vivir acostumbrado a lo mejor. Los que trabajamos o vivimos en Nueva York sabemos que el estado contiene los centros mundiales de finanza, moda, filantropía, teatro y arte. Somos líderes en todo urbano. Añadiendo la Estatua de la Libertad y el papel que estos mares jugaron para tantos inmigrantes en el país a este ambiente de primera, y uno espera liderazgo, innovación, y lo mejor en la asimilación de inmigrantes también.

Este fin de semana, el Gobernador y los líderes de la Asamblea y el Senado fallaron su liderazgo. Fallaron en obtener en el presupuesto estatal el financiamiento necesario para estudiantes de comunidades indocumentadas para asistir a las universidades y colegios de Nueva York. Fallaron en eliminar este obstáculo enorme para los más capacitados de nuestra juventud inmigrante.

California, Nuevo Mexico, Texas y Washington lo logran. Ellos ven el futuro y abren pasos.

Nueva York ni siquiera los sigue y falla en aprovechar esta oportunidad de mostrar al país lo que es ser un líder en este campo.

No esperábamos esto de un estado con fama mundial. Ni de nuestros líderes electos. Ni del lugar que realizó los sueños de tantos inmigrantes previos.

Al Gobernador Cuomo, Speaker Silver y Senados Klein y Skelos le decimos cambien esto ahora. Reparan este daño. Pongan a Nueva York al principio de los mejores programas para fortalecer nuestras comunidades latinas, mejorar nuestros sectores laborales, e inspirar a los sueños de nuestros inmigrantes.”

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