Gov. Jerry Brown Signs California DREAM Act Bill for Illegals
Matt | On 11, Oct 2011
Over the weekend, prospects got a little brighter for illegal immigrants seeking a higher education and a better life in California.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed the California DREAM Act into law on Sunday. The law will allow illegal immigrants access to state financial aid at public universities and community colleges via the Cal-Grants program in 2013. It also opens the door for them to receive institutional grants for the California State University and University of California systems.
The DREAM Act applies to those students who attended a California high school for at least three years and graduated. They must show that they are working toward resolving their immigration status (i.e., seeking a green card, permanent residency, or citizenship). They also have to be academically and/or financially eligible for the funds.
According to the Los Angeles Times, about one percent of the Cal-Grants budget would go toward illegals … of $14.5 million for 2,400 eligible students. Costs could rise to $40 million with the grants and waivers students may now get. Even at that rate, it’s still less than three percent of the total budget.
Many people may wonder why illegal immigrants are being given access to state financial aid. Well, the state of California is full of illegal immigrants who were brought here as small children, enrolled in school, and matriculated like many of us.
A five-year-old who came to the U.S. with their parents has no wherewithal to say, “Mommy, I’m here illegally. Please pack our belongings and let’s travel home so we are not a drain on the state’s budget.” It doesn’t work like that. They go to school and learn like other children.
Detractors, however, say that it’s still wrong to give illegal immigrants access to an education system they don’t pay (certain) taxes for. State Republicans have vowed to put the measure up for a referendum vote next year and let the people decide whether or not to keep it in place. (California knows they are GOOD for pulling that referendum bullshit to backtrack on big legislation).
Whatever the case may be, the law is in effect for now per the governor’s signature.