North Country Assemblyman Butler votes against state-funded college tuition for undocumented immigrants
Thursday, February 8, 2018 - 12:13 pm

North Country Assemblyman Marc W. Butler (R-Newport) voted against a measure aimed at giving state-funded college tuition to undocumented immigrants in the state.

"This year I once again called on the legislature to finally pass the Dream Act and ensure all of our students have access to an affordable college education, regardless of their citizenship status,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a prepared statement. “This legislation will expand access to tuition assistance and scholarships like the historic Excelsior Scholarship to thousands of young New Yorkers.”

Butler did not agree with helping those who are in the United States and undocumented.

“Assembly Democrats have proposed a policy beyond the scope of our work, which is to serve citizens and those who reside here legally,” Butler said in a prepared statement. “Their DREAM Act legislation would provide free tuition to those who are here as illegal immigrants, and it would cost us at least $27 million to start,” Butler added.

Butler’s office said he feels that that taxpayers should not have to pay for such a program, and said that state lawmakers should be less concerned with politics in Washington.

“Law-abiding citizens and legal-immigrant families are already bearing the brunt of the burden by paying for services across the state, and it has not made their living any easier or the associated costs any better. We cannot ask them to pay for this. Let’s focus on addressing what we can in our state, and not get distracted by the politics in Washington,” Butler said in his statement.

"I applaud the Assembly for once again passing this critical legislation and I urge the Senate to follow suit,” Gov. Cuomo said. “I look forward to signing the bill to provide all New Yorkers access to the opportunities they deserve once and for all.”