Out in the Empire State, there’s more good news for illegal aliens. If you’re interested in going to college, not only will state leaders refuse to assist immigration enforcement efforts to deport you, but you can apply for state financial aid and grant programs to fund your tuition. This is part of the recent “justice agenda” announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The new legislation was named the “DREAM Act,” but it applies to far more people than would normally be included in the common usage of the word “dreamers.” (Newsweek)
New York lawmakers passed a state version of the DREAM Act on Wednesday, approving legislation that will allow undocumented students the ability to receive scholarships and state financial aid.
The bill passed in the Senate by a vote of 40-20 and the state assembly by a vote of 90-37, according to CNN. Governor Andrew Cuomo said he intended to sign the bill into law.
“As a key part of our justice agenda, we look forward to finally making it law for all New Yorkers this year, for Senator Peralta and the Dreamers,” he said.
It’s worth noting the “clever” way that Cuomo and the Democratic leadership in the state legislature are weaving the words “DREAM” and “dreamers” into both the title and description of the bill. At a quick glance, you might be led to believe that these programs will be made available to DACA participants who have (at least for now) a temporary exemption from deportation through the Obama-era program. But that’s not the case at all. This applies to anyone in the country illegally who meets a few minimum prerequisites, such as attending high school in New York for at least two years.
Aside from the fact that the vast majority of the intended beneficiaries should actually be scheduled for detainment rather than cash awards, the obvious question this legislation introduces was raised by Republican state senator James Seward. He asked how he was supposed to tell families in his district that adequate state aid to help afford college isn’t available for them, but is available for people who are in the country illegally. But that’s apparently not a priority under New York’s Democratic “justice agenda.”
Rather than the usual lawsuits challenging such liberal maneuvers, I can’t help but wonder if the Justice Department should be looking into this. After all, 8 U.S. Code § 1324 clearly states that any person who “encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law” is guilty of a felony. Offering tuition aid so the person can enroll and attend college in New York certainly sounds like a case of encouraging someone to reside in the United States. Perhaps the governor and every member of the legislature who voted for this package should be arrested and charged under that statute.
Of course we can’t just go and do that now, can we? The law can be conveniently ignored when it hinders the social justice agenda.