Photo of Senator Winfield.

State Senator

Gary Winfield

Representing New Haven & West Haven

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Winfield Applauds Senate Passage of Dreamer Bill

Legislation equalizes access to higher education and institutional aid for undocumented students

photo of Senator Winfield.

In advance of an expected vote on the Senate floor, Senator Gary Winfield joined colleagues and student advocates to push for passage of Senate Bill 4, An Act Assisting Students Without Legal Immigration Status with the Cost of College. (April 18, 2018)

Members of the Connecticut State Senate today passed Senate Bill 4, An Act Assisting Students Without Legal Immigration Status with the Cost of College, which—beginning with the winter 2020 semester—extends to certain students who lack legal immigration status the ability to apply for institutional financial aid to attend an in-state, public higher education institution.

The bill, which passed on a 30-5 bipartisan vote, extends eligibility for the aid to these students, to the extent allowed by federal law, if they meet certain residency, age, and criminal history requirements and if they file an affidavit about their intent to legalize their immigration status with the institution they are attending. The bill now heads to the House for consideration.

“Year after year, these students have been coming to the Capitol to share their stories, advocate for themselves, their communities, and their futures. It gives me great satisfaction to see their efforts come to fruition,” Senator Gary Winfield (D-New Haven) said. “Passing this bill in the Senate is a significant milestone. It is important that support for this bill comes from both sides of the aisle. When it comes up in the House, my hope is that we show these young people the best of Connecticut by passing it in a bipartisan manner in that chamber as well.”

SB 4 requires undocumented students to fulfill the following eligibility requirements to receive institutional aid:

  1. meet the requirements for in-state student classification or be an honorably discharged veteran of the United States armed forces;
  2. be 30 years old or younger as of June 15, 2012;
  3. have been 16 years old or younger upon arrival in the United States and have continuously lived in the country since that time;
  4. be free of felony convictions in all states; and
  5. have filed an affidavit with the institution they are attending stating that they have either filed an application to legalize their immigration status or will file one as soon as they are eligible.

Students who lack legal immigration status already must file such an affidavit in order to qualify for in-state tuition.

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