By JANET DIGERONIMO
The City Council Immigration Committee unanimously passed a resolution on Tuesday urging the State Legislature a version of the Dream Act three years after a similar bill was not passed by Congress.
The bill would provide permanent residency to certain illegal aliens who graduate from high school, attend college or serve in the U.S. military.
Some 625,000 undocumented immigrants graduate from high school each year and only five percent advnce to higher education, advocates said, because they are barred from federal funbding.
Emily Park, a 24-year-old undocumented immigrant, free run 4.0 v3 recalled before the committee what it was like as senior in high school knowing that unlike her classmates, she would not be able to apply for financial assistance programs
“I felt hopeless,” said Park, “I felt like not only my dream of becoming a doctor, but my parents’ American dream for their daughter, was mercilessly crushed.”
Often, undocumented students like Park take a longer time than others to finish college because they must work many hours to pay their tuition.
If enacted the state measure would enable undocumented immigrants to apply for financial aid programs such as Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and Higher Education Opportunity Program.
After voting in favor of the resolution, Councilman Mathieu Eugene – a Brooklyn Democrat and an immigrant from Haiti – praised the idea as a benefit both to immigrants and society. “It’s going to be a win-win,” he said .