Connecticut Senate passes bill expanding financial aid to ‘Dreamers’

State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25).

NORWALK, Conn. – This is a press release, presented in the format in which it was sent:


Connecticut Senate Passes Bill Equalizing Access to Higher Education and Institutional Aid for Immigrant Students


HARTFORD, CT – 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.

“Our state stands as a beacon of fairness, justice, and equality,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven). “Offering institutional financial aid to students regardless of immigration status is yet another sign of Connecticut’s commitment to fairness and equality. The Dreamers and beneficiaries of the DACA program have been here since they were very young; they put their faith in the United States and they are American in every way except for the circumstances of their birth. They are also a significant part of Connecticut’s future.  Students who attain degrees from public universities and colleges in Connecticut are more likely to build careers in Connecticut. I am proud to stand with them today and I am proud that the Senate passed this important legislation.”

“Granting access to institutional aid is a matter of fairness. It is the right thing to do,” said Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk). “On the Great Seal of the United States is included the motto, E pluribus unum: Out of many, one. It is a recognition that this nation was built, and continues to be built, by a diverse array people. These students are Connecticut kids, and although it may sound cliché, they are our future.”

“I want to thank the members of the Higher Education Committee who worked together to negotiate a truly bipartisan bill that strikes a balance between concerns on both sides of this issue,” said Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano (R-North Haven). “This bill represents an extensive, collaborative effort to help those working toward earning a college degree if they are on a direct path to citizenship. We want to encourage all young people in our state to pursue career paths that allow them to succeed, contribute to our state’s economy, and achieve the American dream. We also need to make sure financial assistance is protected and reserved for those who are on a path to citizenship and who are paying into this fund already. The best legislation is that which has been crafted with input from all sides.”

“At its core, this bill is about – and this issue has always been about — basic fairness for Connecticut students,” said state Senator Beth Bye (D-West Hartford), who is Senate Co-Chair of the legislature’s Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee. “These students have come up through our public education system, they have endured challenges that many others have not, they have persevered, they have succeeded, and today we in the Senate allowed them access to the educational aid that they themselves have helped create. That is fairness. That is the right thing to do. And that is what America is all about: the chance to succeed through your own hard work.”

“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.”

“Undocumented students who live in our state and attend our public colleges and universities should be allowed access to the financial assistance from the pool that they all pay into,” Senator Mae Flexer (D-Danielson) said. “Connecticut Students for a Dream has been diligently advocating for this proposal for years. They have courageously told their stories and created the bipartisan bill we have today. I am thrilled that we are finally moving forward to provide equity for these students.”

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

  • meet the requirements for in-state student classification or be an honorably
  • discharged veteran of the United States armed forces;
  • be 30 years old or younger as of June 15, 2012;
  • have been 16 years old or younger upon arrival in the United States and have
  • continuously lived in the country since that time;
  • be free of felony convictions in all states; and
  • 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.


A press release is an announcement drafted by an organization to publicize its news. NancyOnNorwalk takes no responsibility for the content of this press release.


Rick April 19, 2018 at 9:09 pm

This is great news Bob, you can honestly say if you start out at the very bottom maybe some day you can make it in Ct. This of course means everyone including those who have voted for you by mistake.

The American Legislative Exchange Council ranked Connecticut last among the 50 states for its economic performance,

Those factors that include jobs, gross domestic product, taxes and migration of residents between state’s not within the state

IRS data shows where highlighted stats are updated facts https://www.irs.gov/

Connecticut from 2015 to 2016 taxpayers took with them more than $6 billion in adjusted gross income, = AGI. People who moved to Connecticut brought with them appox $3.36 billion in AGI. = total net loss to Connecticut: $2.7 billion. In one year.

average adjusted gross income for all filers who moved out of Connecticut last year was $123,377 — the highest in the nation and far above the state’s median income. The average AGI per return for those who moved in was $92,677, or $30,699 less than those who moved out

Not for nothing if Norwalk’s Wall st had been finished the loss to Florida of 2 billion in 2016 would’t of made difference.

Tax the rich they leave , whats our new potential mall owners thinking Bob?

When the shovels were flying and you were calling for the mall to be built were you at all concerned about the malls future?

We all heard GE this GE that now the last remaining GE workers are wondering if their CT zip code will change.

This was a nice press release any chance of us getting some good news for our city , we are at least concerned about making sure McDonald’s and Burger King will be part of the Sono Collection for those stuffing our new apartments full of kids. People in South Norwalk will no longer have to go to Ct ave for burgers unless Rich puts them in Washington st.

SALT-y tears April 20, 2018 at 12:21 am

Tell Mr. SALT-y this is the best you can do, Bob. Half our kids on free or reduced lunch. Exploding ELL costs. Fix the economy first and then you can throw taxpayer money around however you like.

Al Bore April 20, 2018 at 7:20 am

Duff will never get my vote again and if he thinks he will he’s a dreamer. CT is down the tubes Bob, wake up we have no money and we are taxed to death.

Bryan Meek April 20, 2018 at 8:00 am

Some laws are more equal than others. In Arizona v. United States, SCOTUS ruled that states have no jurisdiction over matters of immigration or immigration status, yet our state continues to pass one unconstitutional law after another. It would be comical if it wasn’t draining society to the point of bankruptcy and putting the most at risk individuals in our communities in peril for lack of basic services.

Maybe Bob and the legislature can reinstate the colonial pound again and we can print and pay for all these programs in our own crypto-currency.

To infinity and beyond!

Mitch Palais April 20, 2018 at 8:21 am

Bob- thank you for creating another reason to draw illegal immigrants INTO ct – free college

Just send your child to live with family in Norwalk – then get ell, sped, free schooling ( on the backs of real estate taxpayers) and now free college

I wish you would be more concerned with the people and facilities that built this state and country.

Do you think this will help or hurt ct financially?

carol April 20, 2018 at 11:55 am

so here we go again,giving away $$$$ we do not have. bob how about taking a salary cut and giving it to seniors. NO MORE FREE LUNCH.

PIBerman April 20, 2018 at 12:05 pm

Illegals before giving Veterans needed assistance who served our nation. No wonder CT ranks poorly amongst its citizens and the rest of the nation. City Hall and City Democrats ought be embarrassed.

Sue Haynie April 21, 2018 at 8:18 am

Norwalk gets $0.06 back for every $1.00 it sends to Hartford. When are you going to address that unsustainable fact Bob Duff?

Mike Lyons April 21, 2018 at 5:07 pm

“On the Great Seal of the United States is included the motto, E pluribus unum: Out of many, one.” True. But the modern “multiculturalism” and “diversity” movements believe just the opposite — ‘out of many, many’. All immigrant groups are now encouraged to celebrate their native culture ABOVE the culture of the United States, which the left constantly denigrates and attacks (try advocating any kind of traditional American values and watch the attacks fly in). And our scarce tax dollars are going to be spent making us even more of a magnet for non-assimilating people. With people like Bob running our State, no wonder people are leaving, tax collections keep falling short, and we have the poorest economic performance of any state in the country. But that doesn’t stop Bob from piling it on.

Joe April 25, 2018 at 3:46 pm

really??? my tax dollars going to illegal immigrants??? Bob, the key word there is I-L-L-E-G-A-L… just want to make sure you got the spelling right!!!

What a disgrace we have become… my US Citizen kids don’t even have textbooks in their classrooms… but hell let’s waste MY tax dollars on I-L-L-E-G-A-L aliens…



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