“I want to thank the New York State Legislature for passing the New York DREAM Act today, an important bill that protects the rights of our immigrant population in New York State.

“Whether your ancestors came across the Atlantic Ocean in the 1700s or crossed the Mexican border in more recent times, this country prides itself on being inclusive and accepting of immigrant populations. Immigrants are a vital part of what makes our country special, a melting pot that is unique compared to the rest of the world. The hateful rhetoric coming out of the Oval Office, using the hopes and ambitions of DREAMers around the nation as a bargaining chip to build a wall of hate, is un-American.

“The New York DREAM Act is named after a great friend and colleague of mine, the late New York State Senator Jose Peralta. Senator Peralta was a vocal advocate of protecting the rights of immigrants throughout the state, and this legislation will ensure that undocumented immigrants are able to attain quality higher-learning education including access to the Excelsior Scholarship, TAP and other tuition assistance programs available to those without lawful immigration status who attended a high school for at least two years.

“As we have learned in The Bronx over the years, giving undocumented students access to quality higher-education boosts our economy, and it helps us retain the best talent to help The Bronx and New York State to continue to flourish – both economically and culturally. We are a nation built on the hard work of immigrants, and thanks to the Jose Peralta DREAM Act our immigrant communities will remain a vital part of New York State,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.