Myths and Facts about the New York Dream Act (S4179/A6829)
Myth 1: The Bill would provide an incentive for people to come here illegally.
Fact: The New York Dream Act offers absolutely no reason for people to enter the country illegally. It does not legalize students nor does it provide benefits for immigrants who are not already here. In fact, the New York Dream Act requires students to come to the U.S. at or before the age of 18, graduate from a New York high school or obtain a GED in New York, and have resided in New York state for at least two years prior to enactment of the legislation.
Myth 2: It will be a fiscal burden and increase the strain on state educational systems.
Fact: The New York Dream Act would make money for taxpayers. State and local taxpayers are already investing in the education of undocumented students in elementary and secondary school. It would be economically illogical to bar students from attending college and developing their careers. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, those who obtain a Bachelor’s degree earn $1 million more over his or her lifetime than those with a high school degree, contributing tens of thousands of dollars to New York State’s economy. The Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy estimates that undocumented immigrants paid $662.4 million in taxes to New York state in 2010, making it the state with the fourth highest revenue in taxes from undocumented immigrants.
Myth 3: Documented New Yorkers will lose spots in college due to passage of the New York Dream Act.
Fact: The small number of students who will be impacted by the New York Dream Act is not significant enough to affect the opportunities of others. Moreover, allowing undocumented students to access financial aid will generate revenue for colleges and universities. While the cost of attending CUNY is $5,130 per year, the average TAP award is $2,764, the difference usually paid to the universities.
Myth 4: The New York Dream Act is a form of amnesty and would reward people who come here illegally.
Fact: The New York Dream Act will not legalize students. The bill is focused on expanding undocumented students’ access to New York’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). The requirements to qualify for the New York Dream Act are extensive and it will not serve as an amnesty of any sort. These students are here to stay and we should provide them with the tools to become outstanding members of New York.
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