Assemblymember Pichardo: State Budget Reinforces New York’s Commitment to Immigrant Communities

April 3, 2019

Assemblymember Victor M. Pichardo (D-Bronx) announced that he helped pass the 2019-20 state budget, which includes funding for 2020 Census outreach efforts and the state’s recently passed DREAM Act.

“The Bronx’s immigrant population is instrumental to the fabric of our borough,” said Pichardo. “With the divisive rhetoric we see coming out of Washington these days, we need to stand by our immigrant brothers and sisters, and that means steps like giving ‘Dreamers’ the chance to continue their education and making sure all New Yorkers are counted in the census.”

The 2020 Census will determine New York’s congressional representation and the state’s federal funding for the next 10 years. After losing two congressional seats and critical aid due to undercounting in the 2010 Census, the Assembly is committed to ensuring every New Yorker is counted this time around. The state budget provides $20 million to promote the census and local outreach efforts. With the federal government slashing the Census Bureau’s budget and proposing the addition of a citizenship question, state funding will be crucial to ensuring that disadvantaged and immigrant communities are properly informed about the census so they can participate.

In addition, the budget also provides $27 million to implement the Jose Peralta New York State DREAM Act and fund Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) awards for eligible “Dreamers.” Tuition assistance under the DREAM Act will be available to individuals who:

  • have been granted a U type or T type visa;
  • have temporary protected status under the Federal Immigrant Act of 1990;
  • are of a class of refugees paroled by the attorney general of the U.S.; or
  • are applicants without lawful immigrant status.

“When we passed the DREAM Act earlier this year, we were sending a message that we stand by all New Yorkers, no matter where they were born,” said Pichardo. “New York’s strength is in our diversity and inclusivity. I’ll always be a voice for every New Yorker, regardless of their legal status.”