The New York Senate and Assembly both passed the Jose Peralta New York State 'DREAM Act' on Wednesday.

This legislation will allow undocumented children, who are already students in New York State, the ability to qualify for state aid for higher education, create a Dream Fund for college scholarship opportunities and remove barriers that prevent undocumented families from college saving programs.

Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Senate Majority Leader said:

Today we made it clear that we will continue to stand up for New Yorkers. We made college more affordable, we have made it possible for all teachers to teach without undue burdens, and we passed tax relief for middle class New Yorkers by making the property tax cap permanent.

The measure passed the New York State Senate 40-20, and the New York State Assembly 90-37. Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign it into law.

The Jose Peralta New York State DREAM Act will:

  • Create a DREAM fund commission and a DREAM fund in order to advance the educational opportunities of the children of immigrants by providing scholarships to college bound students
  • Eliminate potential financial obstacles to obtaining State financial aid and extends the opportunities for undocumented students to attend higher education institutions
  • Eliminate barriers for immigrant aliens to save for their families higher education expenses by allowing such individuals to open a New York State 529 family tuition account under the New York State College Tuition Savings Program and/or be a designated beneficiary on an account if they have a taxpayer identification number

Lawmakers in 16 states, including New York have enacted laws allowing undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition. Six state have barred that practice.