Thursday, August 25, 2011

California DREAM Act AB 131 clears legislative hurdle!

A key state Senate committee approved today a bill that would give college students, who are undocumented immigrants, access to public financial aid. The future looks hopeful for the bill’s proponents in this five-year long struggle. Making it out of committee cleared a huge hurdle to the bill’s passage.

AB 131, the second of a two-bill package known as the “California Dream Act,” would let undocumented students who qualify for reduced in-state tuition apply for, what the Los Angeles Times says is “an estimated $38 million in Cal Grants, community college fee waivers and other public financial aid.” 

Photo credit: Jobs with Justice via Flickr
The bill now goes to legislators, who are expected to affirm it. Then it needs the executive signature.
Last month Governor Jerry Brown signed its companion bill that let undocumented students apply for $88 million in private aid. His signature is again needed, and, while not guaranteed, is still likely for this more-controversial bill of the legislative pair. Unlike the prior bill, this one allows the students access to taxpayer-funded sources, making it a more politically risky endorsement.

The financial assistance will open up the possibility of a college degree, and the potentially brighter future that allows, for California undocumented immigrant students. Bill’s opponents begrudge offering any financial assistance to undocumented students during a period of economic recession.

Don't miss this coverage of California DREAMers:


Anonymous said...

I am sure that American citizens in California who are unable to go to college because of illegal aliens getting financial aid will love this bill.

Billie Greenwood said...

Awards should go to the best and the brightest--regardless of where they happened to be born.

Anonymous said...

No, awards should only go to American citizens. If a naturalized citizen born elsewhere is qualified, then he or she should get the award. Illegal aliens should not receive anything.

Billie Greenwood said...

Thanks for expressing an opposing opinion clearly and respectfully. Personally, I do not use the work "illegal" to describe to a human being.

Anonymous said...

Benefits should go to the people who pay into the system. Not undocumented individuals who are here illegally.

Billie Greenwood said...

FACT: Contrary to popular belief, immigrants pay a substantial amount of taxes, from federal income and Social Security taxes to state income, sales, and property taxes.

FACT: The IRS estimates that undocumented immigrants alone paid $50 billion in taxes from 1996 to 2003.

FACT: A 2007 White House Council of Economic Advisers study reports that immigrants and their families contribute an average of $80,000 more than they use in benefits.

More mythbusting facts on these issues can be found in the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) report: Undocumented Immigrants as Taxpayers.
~Credit: American Immigration Lawyers Association