Efforts to pass New York's version of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act has stalled, and undocumented immigrant youths are protesting against Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie through a hunger strike for their inaction to move forward on the issue.

As Latin Post reported, negotiations for New York State's budget saw a proposal to allow undocumented immigrant college students to receive state tuition assistance dropped from the budget plan. Immigration rights advocates and New York lawmakers have called for Cuomo to engage further in the negotiation process.

Members of the DREAM (DRM) Action Coalition, an organization seeking to establish local, state and federal policies for the diverse immigrant community, have criticized Cuomo and participated in a hunger strike as a result of the latest DREAM Act hurdle in New York.

"When we talk about Dreamers going to college, we're talking about young people who have already overcome tough obstacles to get to where they are," said Cesar Vargas, co-director of the Dream Action Coalition in a statement. "This hard work is being ignored by [Cuomo] who knows this and still is not willing to put money behind merit. Gov. Cuomo has clearly shown he wasn't willing to fight for the Dream Act."

According to Vargas, Cuomo's failure to help pass the DREAM Act is an abandonment of the undocumented immigrant youth community. Vargas pointed to the increased tax revenues New York would have experienced with a college-educated undocumented immigrant work force.

"There will be fewer talented engineers and doctors educated and working in our state as many Dreamers will have to continue to delay plans that would contribute to New York," continued Vargas.

Must Read: New York Immigrants Rights Advocates, Politicians Urge Andrew Cuomo to Negotiate DREAM Act

DRM Action Coalition members, including Vargas, Carlos Vargas and Hina Naveed, protested in lower Manhattan while holding a banner with the statement, "Fasting 4 Our Dreams."

A petition was also created, which directs its attention to Cuomo. The petition background read, "[Cuomo] promised to make the DREAM Act a reality for undocumented students -- and now he's all set to walk it back. When Gov. Cuomo was running for reelection, he told DREAMers he'd put the legislation in his budget this year and finally help their college dreams come true...But this week, Governor Cuomo announced he would be removing the DREAM Act from the budget because he and the Republican Senate Majority Leader could not come to an agreement. Undocumented students have been waiting for three years for New York to pass the DREAM Act. Is Gov. Cuomo really going to break his campaign promise now?"

As the petition noted, Cuomo wrote an op-ed in support of the state's DREAM Act and labeled it as "maybe the most important step from the perspective of students and their families."

Cuomo wrote, "The DREAM Act allows undocumented immigrants to apply for college tuition assistance from the state. It is in keeping with New York's tradition of welcoming immigrants to our state. Unlike what we are seeing in other states, here in New York we are not afraid of immigrants. We invite immigrants knowing that diversity makes us stronger."

According to Cuomo, the DREAM Act would cost $27 million from the $141 billion budget.

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