Schumer ‘Gifts’ Graduates With Immigration Reform, Tax Deductions

By Eric Scheiner | July 2, 2013 | 9:19 AM EDT

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) AP Photo

( - Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told graduates at a community college in the Bronx that he was “sure there was some DREAMers out there” and that his work on immigration reform would be a “gift” that would “make them citizens quickly and without delay."

Schumer, speaking June 7 at the Hostos Community College's commencement, said, "I am hopeful when I come back next year I can announce a second class gift. What is that?" he asked. "As you know I’m the leader in our effort to pass immigration reform and bring the 11 million out of the shadows – I am sure there’s some DREAMers here -- to make them citizens quickly and without delay.”

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DREAMers is a term used by lawmakers to describe young people who were brought to this country illegally as children and who meet the requirements for permanent residency set forth in the (DREAM) Act, which Congress has not passed.

But in June 2012, President Obama announced that his administration would stop deporting young illegal aliens who match the criteria proposed in the DREAM Act.

Earlier Schumer told the graduates, “As you know it is hard to pay for college. If you’re poor, the federal government helps you out – that’s good. What about the middle class? So I wrote a law a few years ago that says you or your family, whoever paid for college, can take off your federal taxes a full $2,500 for each year of college,” Schumer said.

“Last year a third of all the people who were entitled to it didn’t take it – but if you forgot to do it freshman, sophomore, junior year – you can actually fill out a form from the IRS and get back up to $7,500. Not bad for a class gift.”

According to the Hostos Community College mission statement, “The College takes pride in its historical role in educating students from diverse ethnic, racial, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, particularly Hispanics and African Americans.”

Eric Scheiner
Eric Scheiner
Eric is the Senior Video Producer for