Help others before illegals

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has indicated that if the New York State Senate passes the Dream Act, he will sign the legislation into law. We urge him to reconsider that choice.

The Dream Act would spend $27 million to expand the state’s tuition assistance program to students who are illegal immigrants. The proposal has already passed the Democratic-controlled state Assembly. Proponents of the Dream Act have argued that providing greater opportunity for these illegals, many of whom were brought into this country through no fault of their own, would benefit society by reducing the number of college dropouts who don’t complete their educations due to financial reasons and by increasing the skills of these illegal immigrants, making them better able to contribute to the state as workers and taxpayers.

However, the $27 million budget of the Dream Act would be better spent providing more opportunities for students who are legal residents of New York state and the United States, particularly poor students. This Dream Act is similar to Cuomo’s proposal to provide free college education to prisoners in that it is fundamentally unfair to help criminals when the cost of higher education has become such a tremendous burden for law-abiding citizens.