Long Island Immigrant Alliance Calls on Cuomo to Support NY DREAM Act


The Long Island Immigrant Alliance (LIIA) is calling on Gov. Cuomo to take up the passage of the New York State DREAM Act in his State of the State speech this week. Here is what they sent:

Dear Governor Cuomo,

We, the undersigned Long Island organizations, urge you to show your support for undocumented young people across New York State by including the New York State DREAM Act as a top priority issue in your State of the State Address on January 9th, 2013.

Every year thousands of well-meaning undocumented students graduate with a high school diploma or a GED, yet it is estimated that only 5-10% of these students move on to pursue higher education. Financial and social barriers prevent these qualified and determined young people from going to college. The New York State DREAM Act would help alleviate these struggles by providing financial resources from our Tuition Assistance Program.

Long Island is home to many state colleges and universities, including two large capacity community colleges: Nassau Community College and Suffolk County Community College, and four state universities: Stony Brook, Old Westbury, Farmingdale and Empire State. Long Island is renowned for producing some of the most qualified graduates throughout the nation. Unfortunately, financial barriers prevent many undocumented youth from enrolling in these colleges and universities. They deserve, like all New Yorkers, the same access to financial support.

The recently announced Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program is one step closer to the social and financial support that our undocumented youth need. However, the program continues to deny undocumented students from accessing state and federal financial aid. Furthermore, the New York State DREAM Act would offer the opportunity to grow our economy by providing greater access to education and increased pathways to economic prosperity for a new constituency. Failure to provide this support hurts not only our communities on Long Island, but also our state. A strong economy needs a strong well-educated workforce. It is time that we offered this opportunity to all New Yorkers.

Restricting access to education is not the way to strengthen New York State. It is fiscally and socially irresponsible to continue limiting our youth by preventing them from accessing much needed resources. We urge you to show your support for the thousands of determined undocumented youth living in New York State by including the New York State DREAM Act as a top priority issue in your State of the State address.


Ken Lederer, Executive Director
91 N. Franklin St Suite 208
Hempstead, NY 11550

La Fuente – LICPP
Lucia Gomez-Jimenez, Executive Director
250 Fulton Street
Hempstead, NY 11550

Long Island Council of Churches
Rev. Thomas Goodhue, Executive Director
1644 Denton Green
Hempstead, NY, 11550

Long Island Jobs with Justice
Charlene Obernauer, Executive Director
390 Rabro Drive
Hauppauge, NY 11788

Long Island School of the Americas Watch
Mara Bard, Coordinator, Nassau Chapter
1930 Harte St.
Baldwin, New York 11510-2332

Long Island Wins
Maryann Sinclair Slutsky, Executive Director
SUNY – The College of Old Westbury
PO Box 210
Old Westbury, NY 11568

Neighbors in Support of Immigrants (NISI)
Sister Mary Beth Moore and Sylvia Baruch, Co-chairs
P.O. Box 803,
Hampton Bays, NY 11946

New York Civil Liberties Union, Nassau County Chapter
Jason E. Starr, Director
33 Front Street, Suite 205
Hempstead, NY 11550

New York Civil Liberties Union, Suffolk County Chapter
Amol Sinha, Director
225 Eastview Drive, PA 221
Central Islip, NY 11722

North Fork Spanish Apostolate
Sister Margaret Smyth, OP
220 Roanoke Avenue

Riverhead, NY 11901

OLA of Eastern Long Island (Organización Latino-Americana)
Isabel Sepulveda-de Scanlon, President of Board
P.O. Box 278
Sagaponack, NY 11962

Pax Christi Long Island
Sister Jeanne Clark, OP
PO Box 152
Hicksville, NY 11802-0152

PO Box 152 Hicksville, NY 11802-0152
SEPA Mujer, Services for the Advancement of Women
Martha Maffei, Executive Director
c/o Touro Law Center, Public Advocacy Center
PAC #221
225 Eastview Drive
Central Islip, New York 11722

Sisters of Saint Joseph
Sister Helen Kearney, CSJ, President
St. Joseph Convent
1725 Brentwood Road
Brentwood, NY 11717-5587

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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is the Downstate Advocacy Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra School of Law. He served as the Director of Legal Services and Program at Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) for three decades before retiring in 2019. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.