California DREAM Act Passes State Assembly

It's a little confusing, but no less a victory for illegal immigrant college students.

While the national DREAM Act, an immigration bill aimed at providing a path to citizenship for young people, died in the U.S. Senate--and possibly forever--last year, the California DREAM Act is very much alive, passing the state Assembly today.   

This state version known as AB130, introduced by Assemblyman Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles), would allow students who are in the country illegally, but who pay in-state tuition, to apply for private college scholarships. Believing that illegal immigrants help fuel California's economy and that denying them scholarships may be an instant ticket to a lifetime of hardship, Cedillo has proposed similar legislation every year since 2005, which former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has repeatedly vetoed. Gov. Jerry Brown made a campaign pledge to sign it. 

AB130, which now heads to the Senate, is not an immigration bill and applies to less than one percent of the UC and Cal State student population. 

Cedillo also introduced a separate California DREAM Act bill that would make those same students eligible for state-funded financial aid. It remains in committee.

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