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Students urge Governor Cuomo to support New York State Dream Act

So far, 2013 promises to be a big year in terms of immigration reform. As New York's Governor Cuomo prepares for his State of the State speech on Jan. 8, young undocumented immigrants have taken to the phone lines and the governor's Twitter account. These young immigrants want the governor to address the New York State Dream Act.

In particular, the act would allow all college students to apply for New York's Tuition Assistance Program -- otherwise known as TAP -- regardless of the students' immigration status. In New York, undocumented immigrants can already qualify to pay in-state tuition for college, but the New York State Dream Act would let undocumented immigrants also receive financial aid that is backed by the state.

Mayor Bloomberg has already given his support for the bill, and so has City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Now students and immigrant organizations are urging Governor Cuomo to take a stand.

One advocacy group, Make the Road New York, recently hosted a phone bank in Queens in support of the governor addressing the issue.

Eighteen-year-old Antonio Alarcon, an immigrant student at LaGuardia Community College, had this to say: "The governor should be focusing more on the Latino community. We are looking for TAP. It would give a lift, to get financial aid." Alarcon went on to say that he expects "better things to happen this year."

This young man is not alone. Immigrants throughout New York are asserting that more needs to be done to make it easier for undocumented immigrants and family members to pursue permanent residency status or citizenship.

To learn more about citizenship and green cards, please stop by our Staten Island citizenship page. Our firm helps immigrants of all ages with a wide variety of immigration issues.

Source: Daily News, "Undocumented immigrants push Gov. Andrew Cuomo to support the Dream Act," Erica Pearson, Jan. 7, 2013

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