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Photo of Senator Gary Winfield.

STATE SENATOR

Gary Winfield

A Passion For Progress

A Dream Come True

Year after year, CT Students for a Dream or "Dreamers" have been coming to the Capitol to share their stories, advocate for themselves, their communities, and their futures. It gives me great satisfaction to see their efforts come to fruition.

This week the governor signed a bill that gives undocumented students attending an in-state public college or university the ability to apply for institutional financial aid that is paid into by all students and currently not available to undocumented students.

Senator Winfield with Dreamers.

Senate Bill 4, which passed on a 30-5 bipartisan vote in the Senate last week, and passed the House 91-59 Wednesday, extends eligibility for the aid to these students, to the extent allowed by federal law, 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. The bill was signed into law by the governor today.

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 DACA program have been here since they were very 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.