Democrats Pass Bill To Provide Free College To Illegal Immigrants
New York Democrats have passed a bill that will use millions in taxpayer money to fund college tuition fees for illegal immigrants.
The Democratic-controlled New York state Legislature on Wednesday passed the Dream Act, legislation that makes thousands of Dreamers eligible for government money to attend colleges in the state.
Dailysignal.com reports: The bill, which has attracted praise from Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, would cost $27 million.
The measure is a slap in the face for all the hardworking taxpayers who play the rules and struggle for the costs of a college education, Republican state Sen. Daphne Jordan said of the bill.
Jordan was joined by other Republican state legislators in criticism of the Dream Act, who argued it would unfairly take money away from legal residents who struggle to pay their college tuition.
The bill had been introduced in the New York Legislature before, but Republican control of the state Senate had prevented it from moving forwarduntil Democrats gained control of both chambers after the 2018 midterms.
We do this as a symbol that you will be guaranteed an education and that the door to higher education is open to all children of New York State, stated De La Rosa, sponsor of the bill and immigrant from the Dominican Republic.
While Cuomo has not yet signed the bill into law, he has expressed support for tuition for illegal immigrants and he has already included his own version in the state budget plan.
Additional Advice For Undocumented Immigrants
Educate yourself about current state and federal laws regarding tuition and aid rules for undocumented students
The two federal laws you should be aware of are DACA and the DREAM Act. If you are DACA eligible, you can get a work permit and be freed from the fear of deportation for at least 2 years. Unfortunately, you still won’t be eligible for federal financial aid.
The DREAM Act has not been passed and has undergone numerous changes since it was first proposed in 2001. However, if it ever passes, it could have a profound impact on higher education access for undocumented students. Also, if it does pass, you’ll be on a path to citizenship if you attend college.
If you have a good relationship with your counselor, talk with him or her about your options and get guidance. Remember, though, you do not have to reveal your immigration status or your parents’ to any school personnel, and they can’t ask you about it.
Make yourself competitive for college admission. Get good grades, take college prep classes, do well on your standardized tests, and try to participate in extracurricular activities. Because your immigration status may limit your options, you should do what you can to give yourself the most opportunities. Additionally, some of the scholarships that you’re eligible for are more likely to go to high achieving students.
While you may have more hurdles to overcome, graduating from college is possible and will likely give you a better life and future.
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At My Undocumented Life we provide up-to-date information and resources for undocumented immigrants and allies. We post scholarship opportunities that are open to undocumented students, strategies for navigating the educational system, information on how to apply for DACA/Advance Parole, news on DAPA, and much more. Most importantly, we want to provide a sense of community to our diverse group of readers. Learn more about our work here: About Us
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What Documentation Will Be Required To Obtain A New Yorkdrivers License
The bill wont require undocumentedindividuals to provide their identity rather than proof of their immigrationstatus. Under legislation, the acceptable proof of identity include a valid,unexpired passport from the home country, identity documentation by a foreignconsulate or a drivers license that doesnt exceed 24 months pastits expiry date.
Applicants without a Social Security Numbermay provide a signed affidavit, which states they arent in a position toprovide one, in line with the bill.
Those with a foreign drivers licensecan continue to drive without accessing New York State drivers license untilthey officially become state residents, which is defined as having resided inNew York for 90 days minimum according to the New York DMVwebsite.
How To Address Your Citizenship On Your Application
If you’re an undocumented student, don’t lie or misrepresent your citizenship status on your application. Leave your social security number blank. Don’t put in an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, Alien number, or any other number.
For the University of California, undocumented students should select “No Selection” for their country of citizenship.
In your application essay, absolutely, feel free to address your immigration status and situation. Colleges want to hear about obstacles that you’ve had to overcome, but don’t let those obstacles define you. The purpose of the application essay is for the school to get to know you and get a better sense of how you could possibly contribute to the college’s community.
Focus on your accomplishments and what makes you unique as an individual.
The Federal Education and Privacy Act protects the privacy of student records at all educational institutions. Whatever you write in your essay or talk about with admissions or financial aid counselors will not be reported.
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Paying For Your Education
Considering your investment and ability to pay for your time at NYU is an important step towards becoming a student.
As a potential student, you can access planning tools, financial guidance and planning strategies through NYUs iGrad.
You may also contact financial aid counselors for additional guidance, but please note that NYU does not consider appeals for additional scholarship funding or offer an internal loan program.
Because Undocumented Students are ineligible for federal financial aid, it is important that you analyze your resources to determine how their financial need will be met. It is rare that an NYU Scholarship alone is enough to cover the entire cost of attendance.
While you may explore the possibility of private educational loans to fund your education, NYU also offers several payment plan options to support your ability to pay for the portion of college costs you or your family are responsible for.
Find out more about:
Pandemic Aid Is Available For Undocumented Students
Undocumented students can now access some of the $36 billion in emergency stimulus aid earmarked for colleges during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Trump administration previously prevented these students from accessing emergency aid to cover food, housing, and school supplies. Contact your school’s financial aid office for more information.
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Fafsa For Undocumented Students
All incoming college students including undocumented individuals are encouraged to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid . This form is used to evaluate the financial needs of applicants based factors like their individual and family’s household income, employment and tax history, and academic and career goals. The application is available in paper, online, and PDF formats.
A Social Security number is required from all applicants. Most DACA recipients are given an SSN, but other undocumented immigrants do not qualify for one. For undocumented students who do not have an SSN, the U.S. Department of Education urges them to meet with a school counselor to discuss financial aid options. In some cases, these students will be able to apply for and receive financial aid without submitting the FAFSA.
When prompted on the FAFSA form to answer whether they are U.S. citizens, DACA students with an SSN should mark the box that reads: “No, I am not a citizen or eligible noncitizen.” Two additional questions will inquire about the legal state of residence of both the applicant and his or her parents along with the tax history of the applicant and his or her parents. If applicants and/or their parents have filed taxes with the Internal Revenue Service , then the requested information may be accessed using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool found on the FAFSA website. For taxes not filed with the IRS, applicants can input this information manually.
You Can Utilize Support And Resources
Undocumented students have a right to seek a college education in the United States, but it’s much harder than it is for students with full legal status. If you are undocumented, you have access to resources and support networks that can help you overcome legal, financial, and institutional barriers.
Your first stop should be your university’s support network. As you research the top colleges in the country, find out if they offer campus resources for undocumented students. These resources include counseling centers, law centers, and equity centers.
Resource centers for undocumented students are especially common on campuses in states with large immigrant populations, such as California and Texas. The presence of a dedicated resource center can signal that a school is prepared to help its undocumented population.
Campus resources can also open important doors for undocumented students. You can learn more about how to receive financial aid, apply for scholarships, and sign up for tutoring. They can also help you connect with immigrant community groups and cultural support networks, or even access legal counsel.
You can also take your own steps to remain informed and connected. Start with these resources:
These resources can serve as portals to a wealth of contacts, advocacy networks, educational materials, legal action hotlines, scholarships, and community groups. However, this list is not exhaustive do your own research to find similar resources in your local community.
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Applications Might Be Challenging
As an undocumented student, you face both financial and bureaucratic challenges, such as completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid . These challenges are considerably greater if you don’t have DACA status.
Some colleges require students to provide a Social Security number, a valid driver’s license, or a state ID during the application process. While DACA recipients usually have the proper documentation to offer instead of these materials, undocumented students without DACA status likely don’t.
All undocumented students both DACA recipients and non-DACA immigrants are ineligible for federal financial aid. However, individual state and universities may provide aid for undocumented students, often on a need-by-need basis.
If you are a DACA recipient, filling out your FAFSA form can help you determine eligibility for financial aid through either your university or your state. It can also help you prepare your application for private scholarships.
Icipation In Labor Force
Although undocumented immigrants do not have legal permanent status in the country, locally they have a significant presence in the city’s economy and job market. As former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg explained, âAlthough broke the law by illegally crossing our borders or over-staying their visas and our businesses broke the law by employing them, our cityâs economy would be a shell of itself had they not, and it would collapse if they were deportedâ. According to a Fiscal Policy Institute analysis of 2000 to 2006 data, there are 374,000 undocumented workers in New York City, which makes up 10 percent of the resident workforce. With 374,000 out of 535,000 undocumented workers working in New York City, undocumented aliens have a labor force participation rate of roughly 70 percent. This percentage is higher than the labor force participation rate for native-born residents, 60 percent, or for overall foreign-born residents, 64 percent, in New York City.
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The Landscape Of Undocumented Students Today
According to the federal government, undocumented students can legally enroll in colleges and universities in the U.S. Although some states prohibit these individuals from attending public schools, the vast majority do not.
As such, nearly half a million college students are undocumented. The Presidents’ Alliance report also found the following figures:
- Forty-six percent of undocumented students in higher education identified as Hispanic, while 25% identified as Asian and 15% identified as Black.
- Eighty-two percent attended public institutions, while 18% enrolled in private colleges and universities
- The five states with the most undocumented students in higher education were California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Illinois
Can Immigrants Get A Free College Education
In todays global economy, movement around the world is necessary to ensure economic growth and revenue generation in commerce. Welcoming good people with good ideas has always been a way of ensuring that culture doesnt remain stagnant, and that the workload of a great country can be shared with each other as schoolmates, coworkers, neighbors, and friends. Unfortunately, many high school students in the U.S. dont know all of the various avenues to continue their education beyond public school when they or their parents have come here from another country. Many are also unaware of tuition-free programs, scholarships and possible financial aid. The National Immigration Law Center publishes a very detailed account of the laws for immigrant students heading to college. We also have a useful list of 25 Best Free Colleges in the U.S. for prospective students to consider.
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How Hard Is It To Get A Green Card
Applying for a green card isnt easy for anyone. The law is complicated, and the paperwork tough to deal with. You might wish to consult with an immigration attorney to get help and to learn what you can do to minimize the risk of your application being denied. Learn more about how much this might cost.
The Perks Of Online College
Online college can be a good solution for undocumented students, especially those in states with restrictive laws. By studying online, you can take classes from a safe and private location while earning a reputable online degree from schools in more permissive states. Some schools even offer in-state tuition for all online students, regardless of where they live.
Remember that every school has its own set of policies about whether or not it accepts undocumented students. Some online schools do, while others don’t. You may have to contact schools for more information about their acceptance policies and application requirements.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, as of 2021, 17 U.S. states have created legislation specifically allowing undocumented students to pay in-state tuition rates. They are:
In addition, the Boards of Regents in the following states allow access to local tuition rates for undocumented students attending public state university system schools:
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Foreign High School Diplomas
Students who graduated from high school in another country may submit their foreign high school diploma or final high school official transcript to the Admissions Office in order to demonstrate proof of high school graduation. Acceptable foreign high school diplomas/final official transcripts will satisfy the Colleges high school graduation requirement. If the language of the diploma/transcript is not English, an official English-language translation of the document is required as well.
Higher Education Obstacles And Possibilities
There are an estimated 65,000 undocumented students children born abroad who are not U.S. citizens or legal residents who graduate from U.S. high schools each year. These children are guaranteed an education in U.S. public schools through grade 12, but may face legal and financial barriers to higher education. What can you tell undocumented students about their options for college?
There are three main areas on the path to higher education where undocumented students may have special concerns or face obstacles: admission, tuition and financial aid.
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Tuition Costs For Undocumented Students
As with all college applicants, tuition costs for public institutions will depend on whether the undocumented student qualifies for in-state tuition. The states that offer in-state tuition to undocumented students, through tuition equity laws or policies, are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, and Washington.
Supporting Undocumented Students At Cuny
Undocumented students face an array of practical, bureaucratic and legal challenges. Despite the challenges, the mission of The City University of New York remains the same: to provide a high quality, accessible education to all New Yorkers, regardless of background. The right to access an education in the United States is constitutionally assured to all, regardless of residency status or citizenship.
The newly implemented José Peralta New York State DREAM Act entitles undocumented students and others to receive state financial aid, making it possible for more students to pursue their education at CUNY.
Below is practical information on how CUNY staff, especially front-line admissions, financial aid and advising personnel, can support undocumented students in our offices and campuses.
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Resources For Prospective And Current Undocumented Njcu Students
Undocumented students add richness and value to the NJCU community. We understand that there are particular challenges for undocumented students as they navigate policies, processes, and academic requirements of university study, and we are here to help.
This page contains the following resources for undocumented students to use during their entire time at NJCU:
- An admissions checklist for prospective students.
- Financial aid information to help pay for your NJCU education.
- On-campus resources, including information about student activities, counseling services, and campus public safety.
- Off-campus resources, including information on legal aid, mental health services, and community partners.
All resources can be used directly by prospective or current NJCU students. Administration, faculty, and staff also can help our NJCU community by sharing these resources with undocumented students and their families.
NJCU is committed to supporting and empowering our undocumented students to help them reach their full potential at NJCU and beyond.