The New York State Senate did not approve legislation that would have granted state tuition aid to undocumented students. The bill, which has had extensive grassroots support, failed by a narrow margin. The vote was 30 in favor and 29 opposed, but the Republican-controlled Senate could not get the required 32 votes to pass the bill.
If passed, New York would have been the fifth state to have a policy of granting state aid to undocumented students
Advocates, who had been pressuring New York lawmakers and Gov. Cuomo to take leadership on the bill, were surprised by the vote. Members of United We Dream, a grassroots advocacy organization, had been looking to New York to set a precedent for other states.
There is still a possibility that New York will pass a law that will grant state aid to these students. Tonette Salazar, State Relations Director at the Education Commission for the States, said that it usually takes several sessions for these types of bills to pass. “There has to be an awareness and understanding around the economic impact that this can have on a state. So it often isn’t passed in a single session,” she said.