New York Plans Dedicated “Hand-Holders” for Illegal Aliens Seeking Tuition Subsidies

The New York Legislature began 2019 by passing a state “DREAM Act,” granting in-state tuition and financial aid to illegal aliens attending state colleges and universities. But in New York, merely making tens of thousands of dollars in assistance available to illegal aliens isn’t enough. You need to dedicate a small army of school counselors and support staff to make sure that illegal aliens know they can get subsidized tuition and grants, and hold their hands as they fill out applications.

“If we don’t do public education [about the fact that illegal aliens can get these subsidies], then we won’t be able to have the impact that we hope this historic legislation has,” complained Assemblywoman Carmen De La Rosa, one of the DREAM Act’s sponsors. “Some schools have dedicated college counselors or connections with college advising programs, but others rely on the same counselors who handle students’ social needs to shoehorn college guidance into their packed workdays,” reports the educational website, Illegal alien advocates and activists are calling on the state and local school districts to provide special training for staff to assist college-bound illegal aliens.

Of course. Why not? It’s not like the New York educational system has anything better to do with its money. Okay, maybe elementary and high schools in the state could use a few more teachers. “Available data indicates that New York will experience a teacher shortage in the near future, and in many parts of the state the shortage has already manifested itself,” cautions New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), an education professionals’ group.

NYSUT lists 16 categories of classroom instructors where New York faces existing or looming shortages. These categories include: elementary education, math, science, reading/literacy, bilingual and English as a second language – the kind of stuff kids need to be proficient in to even get to college, much less succeed in the real world. And the pipeline of new teachers is running dry. The number of people enrolling in teacher training programs in the state decreased by 47 percent between 2009 and 2016. Apparently the thought that resources being dedicated to help illegal alien high schoolers navigate the application process for taxpayer college funding might be put to use to train and hire more teachers has not occurred to those who run New York’s educational system.

The largest share of DREAM Act beneficiaries (who will also need more dedicated hand-holders) will undoubtedly come from New York City, where advocates warn that kids are being doomed to a “second-rate education.” The city, which scrupulously enforces its sanctuary laws, is somewhat less diligent about enforcing its law that caps class sizes in its schools. In fact, the Board of Education reported that kindergarten through third grade class sizes are 18 percent larger than they were when the law was passed in 2007.

Anyone want to put a wager on where New York will place its resources: More counselors for DREAM Act beneficiaries, or more fully staffed classrooms for third graders?

About Author


Ira joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.


  1. avatar

    Illegalals don’t belong here!!, hello there illegal! !,why the he’ll are they even in our schools??, “I demand to know, “??
    There is already a legal citizen homeless problem! ! “”Help the homeless, not illegals””!!! People like you do not get it,
    “THEY’RE ILLEGALS “!!!!!
    “”””””HELP THE HOMELESS, NOT ILLEGALS””””””,!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • avatar
      Raul Allegre on

      As with many of our problems, I believe the supreme court ruled that illegals have a right to participate in our education system a while back. Not sure why the supreme court saw illegals going to school as a constitutional issue in the first place, but they can’t resist meddling in areas they shouldn’t.