Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb

Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb

by Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R-Canandaigua)

Defying federal policy by attempting to shield illegal immigrants from the law does not protect the interests of New Yorkers. Earlier this week, the Assembly Majority proposed a number of bills that would essentially turn New York into a “sanctuary state,” which, if passed, would put millions of dollars in federal funding at risk. These sorts of measures are an insult to taxpaying citizens and immigrants who sought the American Dream through proper channels.

New York should be creating laws to strengthen the economy and protect the safety and well-being of those who live here, not skirting federal policies designed for those very purposes. Sadly, the Assembly Majority has sought to parlay heightened emotions stemming from the national dialogue on immigration into political capital. Masking bad policy as compassion is cheap and dishonest, and New Yorkers deserve better.

The Assembly Majority would paint opposition to their sanctuary bills as anti-immigrant and malicious. This could not be farther from the truth. The Assembly Minority Conference welcomes and respects diversity at every level of society and government. However, we must respect our Constitution, our laws and the processes that have allowed our state and our nation to develop into the beacon of hope they have become.


The DREAM Act, which would allow undocumented New Yorkers access to the state’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), has been presented by the Assembly Majority as a remedy to injustice. This is misdirection at best. Providing taxpayer funds to undocumented immigrants is entirely unfair to both the taxpaying New Yorkers who fund TAP and the legal-resident students who would be forced to draw from a smaller pot of aid.

Year after year, the Assembly Majority proposes the bill, and session after session it fails to amount to anything more than a One-House political statement. Long before the national conversation turned toward our borders, the idea of using taxpayer money to support immigrants who have dodged the law was misguided and inappropriate. We must focus on policies that are fair to those who give the government their hard-earned money each paycheck.

Contact Minority Leader via email at kolbb@assembly.state.ny.us, like on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter.

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