Long Island Wins has just launched a monthly series of Spanish radio interviews with CyTUnidos (98.5 FM), a radio program focused on workers and their communities. CyTUnidos’ audience covers the communities of Suffolk on Sunday mornings.
In our first installment, I had the opportunity to interview Victoria Daza, the Equal Education and Employment Project organizer at Long Island Jobs with Justice, about the NY DREAM Act.
My radio segment, conducted entirely in Spanish, focused on the NY DREAM Act and the most recent update on the progress of the passage of the bill.
Victoria informed us that individual states cannot pass immigration laws only the federal government can do that. Therefore, the NY DREAM Act could only allow students to obtain access to the Tuition Assistance Program known as TAP, unlike the national DREAM Act, which would include a path to citizenship. For those of us pushing for the NY DREAM Act, we understand the positive impact this opportunity would have for many high school DREAMers, as it would allow them access to financial aid and one big step closer to their dream of obtaining a college degree.
When asked what the primary road blocks are to passing this legislation, Victoria cited Governor Cuomo for not including the NY DREAM Act in the 2014 state budget, as well as our Long Island representatives who have not yet supported the legislation.
Victoria shared some very good news with us about the recent support from the Independent Democratic Conference. Twenty-seven Democrats have now signed onto the bill, we just need five more to pass the NY DREAM Act!
Lastly, Victoria encouraged the community to support the NY DREAM Act by calling their Senators and asking them to pass the NY DREAM Act because this legislation is not just a matter of policy, but a fair access to equal education for all.