New York, NY- June 13, 2012- Councilmember Jackson introduced a resolution on the New York City Council last Stated meeting, held on May 31st, 2012 to amend the New York Dream Act (A. 6829-C/S. 4179-C). The resolution calls upon the New York State Legislature to modify the language of the DREAM ACT to include the children of international professionals that were recruited by the US Government to work here at the local, state, or federal level.
When these skilled international professionals migrated with their families, they were made various promises that they would have the ability to sponsor their children for U.S. citizenship, in order to provide them with a pathway to permanent residency in the United States. Due to the legal immigration process, many of the family members of these professionals have not been able to process their immigration status. After years of struggle, these young and talented individuals, who identify with the American Society and where brought to this country legally by their parents, are now stuck in limbo and are unable to pursue their American DREAM.
“I urge the New York State Legislation to pass the DREAM ACT with the amendment to include Caribbean DREAMers. These individuals accepted the Department of Education’s agreement to serve as educators with the prospect and hope of better life” said Councilmember Jackson, Chair of the Education Committee. “We have to ensure that our educators, who have provided an immense service to our educational system and children, are granted the promises that were made to them. Failing to do so will leave their families in an uncertain state and prevent their children from seeking higher education and becoming an integral part in our community!”
Organizations such as the Black Institute, an action-tank founded to shape intellectual discourse and dialogue from a Black perspective (a perspective which includes all people of color in the United States and throughout the Diaspora), have called to action legislatures to act upon this modification to the DREAM act. They launched the project of the International Youth Association (TIYA). TIYA is composed of international youth, mostly from the Caribbean, whose parents were recruited to teach by the New York City Department of Education beginning in 2001. The campaign’s goals are to call attention to the issues concerning the dependents of recruited professionals and impact the public policies that dictate their lives.
“As Co-Chair of the NYC Council Black, Latino and Asian Caucus, I stand with Councilman Jackson, The International Youth Association and The Black Institute, in calling upon the NYS Legislature to amend the New York DREAM Act. The recruitment of professional immigrants and the impact they have on our country is immeasurable. By providing benefits to their children we are doing the right thing and sending a message of thanks and appreciation.” - Council Member Fernando Cabrera, Co-Chair of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus
"Passage of the New York Dream Act needs to be a priority for the Governor and State Legislature, as does including support for the children of professional immigrants such as this city's Caribbean teachers. Neither they nor their parents did anything to deserve the legal fiasco in which they have been embroiled. It makes both moral and economic sense to support our talented youth and give them tools they need to contribute to their communities, which is why I am so proud to sponsor this resolution." as said by Council Member Jumaane Williams.
“It is truly encouraging that the esteemed members of the City Council would develop this resolution on behalf of the children of recruited teaching professionals. Though many of our youth have fallen into anonymity and despair, this resolution including us in the New York State DREAM act would allow many to further their pursuit of the American Dream by gaining access to affordable higher education. This is a momentous starting point for our campaign to seek the permanent residency we were first promised and has been denied to us. I would like to thank Councilman Robert Jackson and Councilman Jumaane Williams for sponsoring this resolution and the members of the Black, Latino and Asia Caucus at City Council for championing this cause for our youth.” -- Mikhel Crichlow of The International Youth Association
“CUSH is delighted to stand with the Black Institute and The International Youth Association to make sure that the proposed DREAM ACT legislation be inclusive and that all immigrant youths will be able to benefit from the law. It is time that New York State and the United States recognize that immigration is not just a Latino issue, it affects all communities of color,” stated by Bishop Orlando Findlayter