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California Dream Act Heads to State Senate


Aired 6/3/11

While the national effort to grant citizenship to undocumented college students has failed, the California State Assembly has passed a bill that would make financial aid available to them.

— This week, the California Dream Act bill heads to the State Senate, and if passed, it would make higher education more accessible for undocumented students. While it would allow them to apply for state financial aid, the state measure would differ from the federal Dream Act, which would clear the way for citizenship.

"What it would do is allow these students who are highly motivated to pursue their education at a time that they are left with no other options," said Andrea Guerrero, Executive Director of Equality Alliance in San Diego and an education policy expert. "By the time we do get a Federal Dream Act, they'll be even more ready to contribute to our economy."

Beginning in 2005, Los Angeles Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, a Democrat, has repeatedly pushed for the California Dream Act. Gov. Jerry Brown pledged last year to sign it. If passed, the measure would help up to 25,000 undocumented high school graduates pay for college--about 6 percent of the total incoming college student population.

Critics of the California Dream Act, such as Republican Assemblyman Tim Donelly, say the measure would encourage more illegal immigration to the state, at a time of budget restraints.

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Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | June 4, 2011 at 3:34 p.m. ― 5 years, 9 months ago

This action sounds like it's great for people regardless of legal or illegal status. I'm proud to see our country do this when no other industrialized nation makes it as easy to get benefits like America.

I would like to see some of this energy focused on getting the governments of Third World Nations to act in the benefit of its people so they do not feel the need to leave their country in search of a better life. The primary action I see is a peaceful co-existence with the status quo, and that doesn't help the future generations anywhere.

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Avatar for user 'randolphslinky'

randolphslinky | June 4, 2011 at 5:34 p.m. ― 5 years, 9 months ago

The idea of a person coming here illegally and then their children having access to educational aid doesn't make sense to me.

Our State is nearly bankrupt and overwhelmed by massive debt. CA cannot provide the core needed social services to its LEGAL residents and thus has no business providing this tax payer program to ILLEGAL immigrants. Doing so would represent a gross abuse of government's (legislative and executive) fiduciary responsibility.

So, from my point of view as a usually Democratic candidate voting U.S. citizen who pays full taxes, I am entirely against funding a program that provides entitlements to the children of illegal residents of the State of California. Not on my dime.

However, should some of you like to fund this initiative out of your own pocket, please go ahead. Encourage more people to break our laws, I mean, what great society has ever needed laws anyway?

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