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Story - News

May 8, 2012 6:36 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

New York State Assembly Approves Law To Help Immigrant Students Get College Scholarships

May 15, 2012 6:18 PM

The New York State Assembly approved a measure earlier this month that would make it easier for undocumented immigrants to obtain college scholarships.

The bill, which passed overwhelmingly in the Assembly on May 1 with only six nay votes, would create the Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors, or DREAM fund. The fund would be made up of private dollars from donations 
and doled out by an independent commission, whose 
members would be appointed by the New York State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The bill would also make it easier for undocumented immigrants to set up a 529 college savings plan, a bank account operated by the state that is designed to help families set aside money for college costs. It would require a tax identification number to establish an account. A tax ID number is a number the federal government gives to an individual who is not a citizen but is earning income that is taxed, according to New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr.

“We all know higher education, college education, is a ticket to success,” said Mr. Thiele, who was one of 138 legislators who voted for the bill. “It’s a very creative approach to a very thorny problem.”

Now the bill goes to the New York State Senate for a vote. It’s unclear where the Senate will fall on the bill, Mr. Thiele said, but lawmakers are likely to be heartened by the fact that no public dollars are going into the measure.

“I think why this is bipartisan—at least in the Assembly and there is not political conflict over this is because this is an initiative that deals with private sector dollars and not public dollars,” Mr. Thiele said.

Assemblyman Franciso P. Moya, of Queens, the lead sponsor of the DREAM fund act, lauded the bill.

“As long as there has been the United States of America, there has been one overriding American Dream: that people could come here, from around the world, and they would have the opportunity to work hard and build a better life for their families,” he stated. “The DREAM Fund Commission will keep that dream alive for children of immigrants with the potential to achieve greatness. This is also a critical step toward ending the discrimination against children of immigrants that is currently drawing nationwide attention.”School officials at East Hampton and Southampton school districts said the bill would be welcome relief to students who want to go to college but their families can’t afford the cost. Asked how much of a relief, Eugene Kelley, the director of the East Hampton School District’s English as a Second Language program replied: “big time.”

“I think this, if it goes through, will be extremely valuable,” said Mr. Kelley, noting that anecdotally, he can think of several students who could benefit from the law. “There’s definitely a group of students that would benefit. And I think statewide, it’s a substantial number.”

Mr. Kelley added that he frequently sees cases where students opt to work and support their families financially instead of attending college.

Dr. Richard Boyes, the superintendent of the Southampton School District, also said the bill would help, noting that an increasing number of students are enrolling in ESL in the lower grades. He couldn’t provide specific statistics.

“Obviously, it could help,” Dr. Boyes said. “I have to say right now I don’t have a lot of 
information on it. But we certainly have some very capable immigrant children whose 
families don’t have the means 
to go to certain types of colleges.”

Getting a scholarship could mean the difference between attending a two-year institution like community college, or a four-year school, said Mr. Kelly. It would increase a student’s ability to choose from a wider range of schools, he said.

One undocumented East End immigrant from Guatemala, Jon, who would not give his last name, said he could see the bill being useful to some families. The 19-year-old said he attends college part-time and works full-time to pay for his education—which he said is a tiring feat.

“The fact is, if you don’t have a college degree, you’re not 
going to get anywhere,” he 
said. “In order to get somewhere, you’ve got to make a sacrifice. The more I sacrifice, the more further down the road I’ll get.”

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According to Fred Thiele.....No Public dollars are going into this measure. When was the last time our illustrious elected officials ever enacted legislation which didn't subsequently cost the taxpayer BIG TIME? Pigs will fly before anything the government does is free!
By Tennyson (77), Quogue on May 10, 12 11:55 AM
1 member liked this comment
Thiele is a moron, time for some new blood in Albany.
By MickNY (43), East Hampton on May 10, 12 1:39 PM
2 members liked this comment
What a tangled web we weave.

Let's see, an illegal worker is allowed to get a Federal Tax ID number. Hmmm.

The tax ID number lets him or her set up a 529 college savings plan, which one assumes shelters the (illegal) income from taxes? Hmmm.

Is it required that those paying the illegal worker file 1099s, and if so are they basically admitting to violations of the immigration and employment laws? Realistically, how many employers/homeowners are going to complete this 1099 ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 10, 12 12:15 PM
Another question or two.

Is it required that the actual deposits to the 529 college savings plan be correlated to the tax return? Would it be possible to deposit more money in this account than is declared (later) in the tax return? Aren't there certain "firewalls" set up to prevent banks, NYS and the IRS from sharing information?

In other words, does this program set up what looks like a legitimate bank account, which could be used for money laundering? (only to be discovered ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 10, 12 5:20 PM
I am incredulous!
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on May 10, 12 12:17 PM
1 member liked this comment
Complete and utter crap.
By MickNY (43), East Hampton on May 10, 12 12:36 PM
1 member liked this comment
Dios Blass los Estados Unidos de América
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on May 10, 12 12:39 PM
Dear my kids,
I'm sorry that I was born here, played by the rules, paid my taxes and tried to do the right thing. I messed up. Good luck to you.
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on May 10, 12 12:45 PM
By **HBQueenBee** (46), Hampton Bays on May 11, 12 9:27 AM
There are other needs for taxpaying americans that could be better served by private dollars. Free education, no taxes, wire my moneyout the country, c u later, just doesnt bode well with my middle class broken back.
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on May 10, 12 1:54 PM
1 member liked this comment
PS -- There were only SIX, count 'em six, Nay votes.

Oh, wait, is this an election year?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 10, 12 2:32 PM
To double standard, thank you, you summed it up well. It is a shame that my children can no longer "work" their way through college because of extremely high costs,yet we allow those who break our laws the opportunity to go for alot less than our children. I dont care if funds come from private sector. Why are we voting on this anyway. Voting to allow someone who is breaking the law to get a benefit others cant get? Where else in the world does this crap happen?
By rmartel (6), hampton bays on May 10, 12 4:43 PM
To double standard, thank you, you summed it up well. It is a shame that my children can no longer "work" their way through college because of extremely high costs,yet we allow those who break our laws the opportunity to go for alot less than our children. I dont care if funds come from private sector. Why are we voting on this anyway. Voting to allow someone who is breaking the law to get a benefit others cant get? Where else in the world does this crap happen?
By rmartel (6), hampton bays on May 10, 12 4:43 PM
1 member liked this comment
Thanks. What laws like this signal to illegal aliens is not only do we accept the idea that you are breaking our border laws, we will reward you for doing so. Fast forward to when these kids graduate... those who benefited from this law go into the job market with substantially less debt than the kids that are here legally. End result, they can accept a lower wage than the kids carrying debt. So now it's not an issue of "They are doing the jobs Americans don't want to do" but "They are undercutting ...more
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on May 10, 12 5:23 PM
I call HORSE****.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 10, 12 5:35 PM
2 members liked this comment
More questions posted above about possible money laundering possibilities.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 10, 12 5:41 PM
Where are these people when it comes to helping our children who are american citizens who have student loans to pay back and trying to survive on the eastend with wages that will never pay back the loans and afford them the opportunity to own their own homes or for that matter afford to rent. Our system is totally flawed!
By Deb1 (1), Southampton on May 10, 12 8:02 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By loading... (601), quiogue on May 10, 12 8:42 PM
I don't know about anyone else, but I find the last two paragraphs EXTREMELY disturbing.

How can enrolling in school while in this country illegally not throw up a red flag, and maybe a bell or whistle to INS, or ICE? We don't have the jobs for kids born here to be gainfully employed after graduation. Underemployed? Sure, I bet you could find minimum wage work in retail somewhere. Stellar use of an advanced degree...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 10, 12 8:55 PM
What's the constitutionality of this steaming plie of horse manure?
Only in liberal America could something like this happen.
Phil: I doubt most here have a problem with immigration, it's what made this country great, it's ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION that's causing the problem, wake up!
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on May 11, 12 6:37 AM
Paul Ryan and Congress just passed a bill to reduce food stamps and meals on wheels for more money for defense. How can they deprive the poor like that? While on the other hand give away college educations to illegals?
By TianaBob (256), S.Jamesport on May 11, 12 1:33 PM
The ez answer is it is state vs. federal government; two completely unrelated animals. I might also suggest not getting your news from liberal opinion blogs that sensationalize starving granny to save the Pentagon, because Republicans hate old people, children, and adoption, as the source notes. BTW, no bill was passed that contained any of this and no one said getting the country on a fiscally responsibilie course would be easy.
May 11, 12 4:01 PM appended by Mr. Snerdley
Correction - noted, the House bill passed yesterday, but as usual, no chance of passing the Senate. Democrats offered an alternative, that being raising taxes.
By Mr. Snerdley (397), Southampton on May 11, 12 4:01 PM
Once again, politicians afraid of being called racists cave in to the illegal problem. We'll get stuck with the bill as usual, like always. Why do we have to be forced to cater to these guys?
By **HBQueenBee** (46), Hampton Bays on May 11, 12 9:26 AM
3 members liked this comment

You demean your own intelligence IMO when you refuse to have a discussion about the TWO classes of students/families benefiting from this PROPOSED bill:

1. immigrants here legally with green cards; and
2. undocumented immigrants.

The various issues, pros and cons, etc. about this proposed legislation simply cannot be discussed intelligently without discussing the two sub-classes SEPARATELY.

Please re-read all of the comments objecting to this ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 11, 12 10:03 AM
To go this far, just get them green cards and get the taxes paid. American citizens will be on the hook while idiots will justify cost by trying to raise taxes on the successful earners with salaries above $250,000.
By kpjc (161), east quogue on May 11, 12 1:33 PM
Ah, the usual gaggle of right-wing ignoramuses stroking one another's bloated egos.
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on May 11, 12 1:55 PM
Who speaks like this?
By jams (129), hampton bays on May 11, 12 2:16 PM
Progress if you care to make a point based on facts we are all ears. It would also be refreshing to read something from you other than general insults directed at invisible people with screen names. You can do it... go ahead and give it a try.
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on May 11, 12 2:43 PM
1 member liked this comment
Braindead politicly brainwashed sheep
By Kaiser Sozay (31), east end on May 15, 12 2:08 PM
1 member liked this comment
Phil: This is just another perk to the criminals who entered our nation ILLEGALLY! Why can you not get this through your obviously thick skull? Everything that's done to make it easy for the criminals is an enticement for more to come here. I have no problem with immigrants, hell, we all came from somewhere else, Shinnecock Nation folks excluded, immigration has made us the strongest , most productive nation in the history of the world. The problem is the flood of ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS, get it?! Why ...more
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on May 11, 12 5:26 PM
3 members liked this comment
Exactly! Phil doesn't have the word, ILLEGAL, in his mind-set. He makes no distinction between those who arrived legally and those who hopped the fence. It's a shame he can't debate this on a more intellectual level instead of his constant whining.
By Tennyson (77), Quogue on May 11, 12 5:59 PM
I actually have to agree with you, but up only up to a point. I do have but a humble request. Please use criminal as an adjective (e.g., "criminal behavior"), not a noun unless you use it as such in a court of law. Or, possibly in reference to a convict. :-)


The problem with us accepting too many people into this country, is we will have an unsustainable population. How many people can we rationally expect to support on this planet, let alone our little chunk of real ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 11, 12 7:02 PM
1 member liked this comment
Z nailed it. 10% unemployment, God knows how many under-employed, growing numbers on welfare, etc, etc.
That and we can't have laws that only apply to some. I don't care if the immigration is coming from Mexico, Guatemala or Quebec, we have to know who is here and control the flow. If that's racist then pigs fly. There is nothing wrong with loving our country and our way of life.
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on May 11, 12 9:59 PM
Phool at home- you liberal windbag. You make me sick. Anyway, I'll just say that the idea for a free, lawful, democratic society was good while it lasted. RIP USA.
By Lets go mets (377), Southampton on May 11, 12 5:47 PM
1 member liked this comment
COSTS TAXPAYERS NOTHING? You people that think donations to a non profit cost the people nothing are kidding yourselves. The money comes from the rich who avoid taxes by giving money to non profits like this.Why do you think Mitt Romney pays less than 20% taxes and you working poor pay more than 40%! A nearly 15 trillion dollar govt debt is almost entirely from loop holes like this garbage. People are sheep in this country and believe anything
By chief1 (2800), southampton on May 11, 12 10:09 PM
Why doesn't the child/student, age 17 or 18 who knows they are not a citizen apply for citizenship? If there are patrons willing to fund a Dream Fund, I would think there are patrons willing to fund a Legal Fund which would start the citizenship process.
Here is a proposition: Perhaps all non citizen high school graduates should sign up for the military for their path to citizenship.
Observation: The more we offer special acceptances to illegal behavior no matter what the infraction, no ...more
By auntof9 (159), Southampton on May 12, 12 11:57 AM
It's simple: Legal vs. Illegal!! Cheap Labor and the Vote. Now, for reality --
the costs of supporting this underground workforce is carried by the taxpayer!
We have high unemployment not all due to illegal immigration, however, no
one has stated the increase in population and the environment! Will not support
college for illegal immigrants until we enforce our laws, namely, Employee-
Verify. We must stop supporting all the costs related to supporting individuals
that ...more
By East Ender (64), Southampton on May 12, 12 4:48 PM
1 member liked this comment
The illegal part is hiring undocumented workers-the employers should be arrested then the problem goes away.
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on May 12, 12 6:21 PM
1 member liked this comment
Indianapolis News ch 13 had an expose on massive tax loophole by illegal and undocumented workers. first you get an ITIN to file tax return and receive LARGE refunds under the "additional child credit" and a huge number of tax returns under ITIN's claimed 10, 11, 12 "nieces and nephews" all on whom lived in Mexico and proven during it's investigation. The illegals know the system better than you and me and probably the Federal Government.
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on May 12, 12 8:06 PM
1 member liked this comment
What? Really? This nonsense has got to stop. What can we do? Seriously, it's time to organize and fight back on this.
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on May 13, 12 8:02 AM
"Ninety-four percent of students who earn a bachelor’s degree borrow to pay for higher education — up from 45 percent in 1993, according to an analysis by The New York Times of the latest data from the Department of Education. This includes loans from the federal government, private lenders and relatives. "

~ New York Times, Andrew Martin, and Andrew W. Lehren (5/12/12)

Quite a hefty price tag for this legislation, eh?
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 12, 12 8:48 PM
You are correct Double Standard: Suggest you gather your neighborhood and
attend meetings and voice your concerns. All citizens should VOTE at all elections!

By East Ender (64), Southampton on May 13, 12 2:15 PM
I hope all the people posting here who are against this move come out and vote for Romney in November. Obama will only continue to encourage this law breaking because this group votes for him.
By Leon789 (50), westhampton on May 21, 12 7:51 AM
2 members liked this comment
<--------- Obama Campaign Responds to Breitbart 'Kenya' Booklet Story
By They call me (2826), southampton on May 21, 12 8:52 AM
Go Romney!
By local12 (34), Remsenburg on May 24, 12 8:58 AM
Im working on a new project called Cash for Americans, If you need a job please come down to 7/11 in southampton any morning and go to work.
Retired people welcome.
By G_J_V_Overbeck (24), Westhampton Beach on May 25, 12 5:18 PM
If legal American citizens stand in front of the 7-11, they'll be arrested for loitering!
By MJD0615 (2), Holbrook on Jul 15, 12 7:55 PM