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NY Assemblyman Jose Peralta with young writers. Photo: <a href="">Manuel Nieves</a>, CC <a href="">some rights reserved</a>
NY Assemblyman Jose Peralta with young writers. Photo: Manuel Nieves, CC some rights reserved

Hispanic lawmakers push for NYS "DREAM Act"

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As state budget talks reach their final days, and perhaps even hours, a group of Hispanic lawmakers is pushing for the inclusion of the DREAM Act in the budget,

It would offer college aid to children of undocumented immigrants who were born in the country. Karen DeWitt spoke to Senator Jose Peralta of Queens, one of the bill's sponsors.

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Karen DeWitt
NYS Capitol Correspondent


Peralta says if the state can help more young people go to college, they're more likely to pay more taxes later. "We want to encourage education, but at the same time we want to encourage people to be proactive, and get better-paying jobs, and help the economy."

Sen. Jeff Klein, a Democrat and the co-leader of the Independent Democratic Coalition that leads the senate, has in the past been a major supporter of the DREAM act. But the act hasn't been included in the proposed state budget, and Peralta says he's disappointed. But, he says, he and other supporters are still pushing to include it in the final budget.

Peralta says he believes even some Republicans will vote for the act if it's included in the budget, "because they understand that this is an…investment for the future, and many of their constituents will benefit from this."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been supportive of the federal DREAM act, but has also said he would like to see the federal government take action before New York state considers a similar law.

Hear the full interview by clicking on "listen" above.

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