Two days after Obama’s watered-down DREAM act took effect and thousands illegal immigrants lined up to get two-year deportation deferrals, NY Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is introducing a bill that would provide government financial aid to thousands of illegal immigrants attending college–NY’s own version of the DREAM Act.
Obama’s DREAM-Lite deferrals include permits to work legally, which lead thousands of people to line up outside immigrant centers across the country to apply for the deferrals: the NY Times reported that 11,500 people had attended briefings by noon at Chicago’s Navy Yard and 2,000 had to be turned away due to a lack of staff and time. Last Monday, Silver joined three organizations–The New York Immigrants Coalition, Make The Road NY, and Legal Services NYC–in splitting $450,000 to educate young immigrants and ensure they take full advantage of the deferred action and avoid falling prey to scams. But as the Examiner points out, because Obama’s plan “is the result of an executive order, and not the DREAM Act, should the president lose his bid for re-election, it is possible that Mitt Romney or … any other president could overturn the order with one of their own.” Which means that Silver’s bill would be the safest (and potentially the most comprehensively beneficial) piece of legislation to provide aid for illegal immigrant students.
Until more emerges about the Silver bill’s chances, this is the skinny vis a vis Obama’s plan:
If you are a New Yorker, under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s direction, a program has been set up to help all those eligible file. You can head over to the New York State site which offers an explanation here, but basically, it means that if you are eligible, you may apply for deferred action and for two years, you will not have removal proceedings brought against you.