At last, a historic day was marked for illegal immigrant students, as the first half, AB 130, of the California dream Act of 2010 was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on July 25.
Unfortunately the second half, AB 131, remains unsigned on Brown’s desk, but hopes are high for his support.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Brown has vowed to support the bill if it reaches his desk, and the deadline for his signature, Oct. 9, is quickly approaching.
If the bill is signed, immigrant students that meet the requirements will be allowed to receive state funded financial aid for the reduced in-state tuition fee.
Questions of fairness arose amongst some college and university students on U.S citizens who live outside of California continuing to pay out-of-state tuition fees, while illegal immigrant students would pay the reduced fee. However, the law requires students to have attended high school in the state for at least three years, and have graduated.
That assures that they are California residents, whether they have legal documentation or not, and therefore should pay in-state tuitions.
Assemblyman Gilbert Cedillo first introduced the bill in February 2010, but former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed it on Sept. 30, 2010.
Cedillo has kept proposing the bill under different versions since, and makes a good point in his argument for it
“Why would we cut ourselves off from students who have demonstrated since they got here that they have tremendous talent and resilience? This is a very smart decision for the state. It’s not necessarily popular or without controversy, but we have to get these students fully educated,” he was quoted as saying in a recent article in The New York Times.
According to The New York Times, the bill has an estimated cost of $40 million to the state, and that, which is only 1 percent of the state’s total $3.5 billion budget for college financial aid.
Even though this has been a very controversial topic for the past year, California has received a lot of praise for it, being one of the largest states with the most illegal immigrants, according the Department of Homeland Security. The dreams of many hard-working, and strong-minded immigrant students are coming true.