Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP

California ‘Dream Act’ Becomes Law


California’s Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law the second portion of the California “Dream Act,” AB 131, which allows undocumented students to qualify for state-funded scholarships and financial aid for state universities after other legal resident and U.S. citizen students have applied. Gov. Brown said it would enable top students to have “a chance to improve their lives and the lives of all of us.” He signed the first portion, AB 130, in July, which allows such students to apply for private scholarships and loans. Currently, undocumented California high school graduates on track for legal immigration status can apply for in-state tuition rates, as can those in 12 other states, including New York, Texas, and Washington.

Assemblyman Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles) said the legislation will increase California’s competitiveness in the global economy and that California “is prepared to lead the country with a positive and productive vision for how we approach challenging issues related to immigration.” Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said the new law “invests in the dreams of talented undocumented students and in the economic future of our state.”

Not everyone in California is on board with the new law, however. Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-Hesperia), wants to put an initiative on the ballot to overturn it, calling the new law “absolutely, fundamentally wrong and unfair and…an insult to people who have worked and played by the rules, including those who have come to this country legally.” Stay tuned.

The text of AB 131 (as enrolled) is available at http://e-lobbyist.com/gaits/text/351864.

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