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Photo of Senator Steve Cassano.

STATE SENATOR

Steve Cassano

Advocating for Common-Sense Solutions

A Dream Come True

Year after year, CT Students for a Dream or "Dreamers" have been coming to the State Capitol to share their stories and advocate for a bill that would give undocumented students attending an in-state public college or university the ability to apply for institutional financial aid. Many of these students have been friends and classmates of my children over the years and they should not be penalized for being born somewhere else!

Last week, the Senate passed a bill that would give undocumented students attending an in-state public college or university the ability to apply for institutional financial aid. This week, Democrats in the House passed the bill, which the governor signed into law on Friday.

College

The bill allows these students to apply for some of the institutional tuition aid that their college fees help pay, if they meet certain residency, age, and criminal history requirements and if they file an affidavit about their intent to legalize their immigration status with the institution they are attending. This financial aid is paid into by all students and currently not available to undocumented students. It is only right that all students have equal access.

Offering institutional financial aid to students regardless of immigration status is yet another sign of Connecticut's commitment to fairness and equality. The Dreamers and beneficiaries of the federal DACA program have been here since they were young; they put their faith in the United States and they are American in every way except for the circumstances of their birth. They are also a significant part of Connecticut's future. Students who attain degrees from public universities and colleges in Connecticut are more likely to build careers in Connecticut.

I am proud to live in a state that supports Dreamers.