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Monday, July 25, 2011

Governor Jerry Brown Signs California Dream Act

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2011 at 4:00 PM

click to enlarge One step closer to being able to graduate.
  • One step closer to being able to graduate.

A decade after California allowed undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition to attend public universities, the state is now allowing the students to get scholarships to afford them.

At a time when the price tag on higher education is threatening many students, Governor Jerry Brown signed the first of two parts of the California Dream Act, or AB 130, today, which will allow undocumented students to apply for private scholarships.

Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom praised the move: "These students have been raised as Californians and will be vital in securing our future. ... If we want to remain competitive in the new 21st-century economy, it is crucial that we invest in all human capital," he said in a statement. 

The second part of the bill, AB 131, would allow the students to apply for public scholarships like Cal grants. That bill is still in the Senate Appropriations Committee

While today's passage helps undocumented students get one step further in their education, it doesn't improve the dismal landscape of possibilities after graduation: Undocumented students are still not legal residents and still cannot legally hold a job.

Of course, only the feds can remedy that -- with the federal DREAM Act, which would give a pathway to citizenship to those immigrants brought to the country as kids who complete two years at college or in the military.

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Lauren Smiley


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