Most New York Voters Oppose State's Dream Act

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Most New York state voters expressed opposition to the New York Dream Act, which would have allowed undocumented immigrants to receive financial aid for higher education, according to a Siena College poll released Monday.

The measure was narrowly defeated a week ago in New York's State Senate, coming within two points of passing. Some backers now hope to include it in the state's budget.

Just 39 percent of New York voters supported the New York Dream Act, down from 44 percent in January. A 56 percent majority were against it.

While Democrats favored the act, a wider majority of independents and more than 80 percent of Republicans were opposed.

"Although it passed the Assembly and narrowly failed in the Senate, support for the Dream Act is actually down from last year when opposition was only nine points higher than support," Siena pollster Steven Greenberg said in a statement accompanying the poll's release. "Now opposition is 17 points higher than support.”

Another proposal by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), for the state to fund college classes for inmates, was more popular, with 53 percent backing the idea, and 43 percent opposed.

Siena polled 813 New York State registered voters by phone between March 16 and March 20, calling both landlines and cell phones.