The Illinois State Senate voted 45-11 Wednesday to pass the Illinois DREAM act and make available scholarships to thousands of undocumented immigrants.
"It's a great step forward," said Joshua Hoyt to NBC Chicago's sister station, Telemundo Chicago. Hoyt is the executive director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee rights.
The Illinois Dream Act, sponsored by state Senate President John Cullerton, will make scholarships available to undocumented students through an Illinois Dream Fund that is privately funded. It would also encourage high school counselors and college admissions officers to be trained on educational opportunities for immigrant youths.
Nearly 90,000 students in the state would benefit from the Dream Act, according to ICIRR.
On Wednesday, Gov. Pat Quinn also announced Illinois will pull out of the "Secure Communities" program. It's a federal program that automatically checks the Immigration status of people who are arrested by police.