California lawmaker seeks repeal of his state's Dream Act
The law, starting in 2013, will allow children of illegal immigrants to receive state funds to attend schools like UCLA.
December 20th, 2011
02:37 PM ET

California lawmaker seeks repeal of his state's Dream Act

A Republican California Assemblyman is trying to repeal his state's Dream Act, which would give children of illegal immigrants who have graduated high school access to state college grants starting in 2013.

In October, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law the California Dream Act, which would set aside up to $65 million for the children of illegal immigrants who qualify. The legislation differs from a proposed federal bill called the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors - or DREAM - Act, which would give children of illegal immigrants a path to citizenship through military service or college education.

“This is absolute sheer insanity,” said Tim Donnelly, the California Assemblyman. “Nobody is as nuts as California."

Donnelly is trying to gather enough signatures on a petition to get a repeal of the law on the November ballot before the legislation goes into effect in 2013.

He said his opposition is based on economics. “We’re broke,” Donnelly said.

Click the audio player to hear more from CNN Radio's Jim Roope:

California is battling a budget deficit. To make things worse, state revenues fell short the last few months triggering automatic cuts to things such as education and health care.

“We simply don’t have the money,” Donnelly said.

The California Dream Act was authored by State Democratic Assemblyman Gil Cedillo. He’s been trying to get the legislation passed since 2006.

“Regardless of whenever they came, regardless of however they got here, it’s a very core American value that we do not punish children for the acts of their parents,” Cedillo said. “When they become job ready, are they going to be ready to lead us into the future and be productive and constructive?”

Cedillo said California can’t afford not to make state money available to the children of illegal immigrants who want to attend college.

Justino Mora, 22, came to the United States from Mexico with his mother when he was 11 years old. He’s studying political science at UCLA but doesn’t know how long the money he’s saved from working since high school graduation will hold out. The Dream Act, he said, is a dream come true.

“It means the world to me,” Mora said.  "I’m the second in my family to graduate high school and could be the first to graduate college."

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soundoff (266 Responses)
  1. g.r.r.

    If the neo-cons were honest about wanting to solve the illegal issue, they would present a bill that required e-verify with stiff penalties AS well as offer citizenship to those that have already served and a modified dream act (if you have attended our schools for 5 years or more, either is still in school, or have a GED or Better, have no legal issues or connections to gangs/drugs, speaks english, etc, then will be allowed to serve (DOD or vista) to get on the path to citizenship ). This would probably mean about 1-5% of the illegals would quality, while sending home all others (including their parents). That would mean that as little100K to as much as 1.5M would remain while sending home 10.9M to 28.5M.
    That would also restart our economy. Keep in mind that the majority of jobs that illegals hold are NOT low-end ag jobs (less than 3% employed there), but in jobs such as restaurants, janitorial, construction, manufacturing, etc. Many of those are well above minimum wage which many pay little to no taxes on this.

    January 1, 2012 at 6:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Concernedcitizen

      This law is ridiculous.

      1. With the state in debt $16B, we can't afford additional giveaways.
      2. What kind of logic says taxpayers must pay for an education for people who aren't in the country legally anyway, and probably aren't paying any taxes?
      3. No one paid for my college education. My parents had a very low income. I worked and paid for it, and my parents helped as much as they could.
      4. No one paid for my two children's college education. They worked, they got student loans, and my wife and I helped them pay back the loans.

      May 13, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Will

    I feel sorry for the state of California. That is a lot of money to give to people that don't have legal status. I went to a public college in New York that had a considerable amount of foreign students (mostly in the Art conservatories); they had student-visas and were forced to pay out-of-state tuition. They either financed their education themselves or their families financed them. Although I am a Democrat I have no compassion for those kids.

    October 1, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
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