Touro Law School Students and Advocates Push for NY DREAM Act

Press Release Press Contact:

 Victoria Daza



Touro-Based Student and Advocacy Organization Urge Senator Flanagan to Support NY DREAM Act


Central Islip, NY.   Soon after Governor Cuomo announced the inclusion of the New York DREAM Act into the state budget, seven organization  at Touro Law School signed on to a letter urging Senator Flanagan to support  the NY DREAM Act.


“I am happy to have Touro Law Students supporting this effort because it teaches them the importance of community advocacy in making a difference in the lives of others.” said Tom Maligno of the Public Advocacy Center


The New York DREAM Act would allow undocumented children who graduate from New York State high schools to access  state-funded financial aid alongside their peers. Senator Flanagan, as  Senate Majority Leader, will be joining Governor Cuomo and House Speaker Heastie in decidING the New York State Budget for this year.  The  New York Civil Liberties Union, Tom Maligno from the Public Advocacy Center, Empire Justice, the Empowerment Collaborative, the Latin American Law Student’s Association, The Immigration Law Society, and Long Island Language Advocates Coalition have all signed  the letter urging Senator Flanagan to  support the New York DREAM Act.


The letter to the Senator states, “As part of the Touro Law Center, we stand with our founder’s commitment to social justice. You are in a position to help make history by eliminating the rules that stratify educational access in our region. As a Touro Alumni, we urge you to support the NY DREAM Act, so that New York can join states like Texas, New Mexico, and California, in allowing equal educational opportunity to all children.”


Long Island currently holds 22% of the political power in New York State making support from Senator Flanagan is crucial to the passing of the bill.


“It is imperative to come out and support the NYDA right now since the bill has once again landed in the draft budget, but this time without being tied to anything. Long Island Senators have been opposed to this bill for five years claiming that their “constituents do not want the NYDA”, but today we join together at Touro Law to counter that argument. Professors, faculty, staff, students, advocates and non-profit organizations based at Touro have come together to publicly voice their support for the NYDA. We cannot let another year slip by without allowing all students, regardless of status, to access financial aid for higher education.”, said Laura Lemus of Long Island Wins

The New York DREAM Act would allot 27 million dollars  for the TAP budget and would impact thousands of youth across New York State.


“”We believe that all young people in this country, regardless of citizenship, should have access to the tools provided by a quality education.  ECLI passionately supports The Dream Act and its role in breaking the cycle of poverty in New York State.”  said Feride Castillo, co-founder of the Empowerment Collaborative


“We are urging Senator Flanagan to help New York make history, and allow all students living in New York state equal access to education.” said Victoria Daza, organizer of Long Island Jobs with Justice.


The New York DREAM Act would cost 87 cents per median taxpayer if added to the New York State budget. According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, the undocumented workforce has contributed over 1 million dollars in state and local taxes.


“Having access to a college education is essential to the future of our young people.  The NY DREAM Act will help immigrant youth  gain the skills, knowledge and experience they need  to contribute to our society and our economy. We urge Majority Leader Flanagan to support this initiative.” said Cheryl Keshner of the Empire Justice Center.


New York State has the 2nd highest immigrant population in  United State. California, whose population surpasses New York’s, already has a version of the NY DREAM Act.
“What is the United States but a land of opportunity? This country has been a haven for those who have suffered in their homelands and those who are seeking a place where they can grow and give back to make this country greater. The passing of the NY Dream Act gives thousands of young minds the opportunity to make their dreams a reality. It makes this country greater by nurturing these young minds who are willing to push this nation forward and advance progress.”said Jose Rojas of the Latin American Law Students Association

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