Area legislators oppose Silver's plan to aid illegals

Aug 20, 2012

A bill that would make illegal immigrants in New York State eligible for financial aid is running in to some local opposition. 

The legislation introduced recently by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver would apply to children of illegals who have lived in the U.S. for more than five years. 

Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak says Albany has cut back on the Tuition Assistance Program in recent years. The Cheektowaga Democrat says if anything, funding should be restored to TAP  first.

"We need to take care of residents who are here legally. I believe that should be our focus. Those who are here illegally, there's a process that they can go through in terms of becoming legal immigrants and that's fine, have them go through that process before you make funds available," Gabryszak says.

Gabryszak points out the bill has been introduced in the past.

"I think it shows that there is some resistance to doing that and I think there's an awful lot of discussion that would be had before any of this legislation really even comes to the floor."

Republican State Senator Mark Grisanti says he will vehemently fight Silver's plan if it ever comes up for a vote. Grisanti says it would be an illegal mandate.