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. Michael Molero

    This man is another example of a bigoted right-wing politician who simply blames illegal immigrants for the economic downfall of his state. Don't fall for this ignorant message!

    December 20, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • ces

      You Sir are part of Peoples Republic of Kalifornia's problem. Don't try and marginalize his message by calling him "right wing", WE THE PEOPLE ALL have the right to express what we believe not just the liberal/socialist "elitists" resident in the nuts and twig state.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • doughnuts

      Hopefully, no one will fall for your ignorant message. He doesn't say that the poor state of the California economy is the fault of illegals. He is saying that they don't have the money to spent on sending non-citizens to college when there are just as many, or more, deserving students who are actually citizens of California.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jorge

      California is broke and this issue shouldn't even be discussed!!

      December 20, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |

      Wetacks fill our schools, welfare dept. jails, prisons, and home depot parking lots. Time for them to leave. TIME FOR OPERATION WETBACK!!!!! HAHAHAHA!!!!

      December 20, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • gera

      You all know this is not about money but about illegals, give these kids a break, they deserve to succeed in life, send them to college.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • US guy

      Oh poor Mora- this means world to him. Unfortunately, for the world it means pay for Mora. California is nuts and only State that supports criminals. Remember? – Illegal entry to the US is crime. To become public "charge" is crime. And California Jerry b supports criminals

      December 20, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Luis

      the republicans want to expell all the hispanics at all cost, even at the white and black citizen cost, they don't care about the average citizen and the poor that is the mayority of the usa population....look the economic plan only for the richest people, and still they are people that believe in them....we not have to vote for them in the next election they don't deserved

      December 20, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Shephard

      Finally a lawmaker with brains and brawn. America needs to take care of her own children first, not children who weren't born here. I can't stand these bleeding heart liberals who think it's okay that the American Taxpayer go broke to pay for other people's people. Charity begins at home and this is NOT THEIR HOME!

      December 20, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • justsayno

      Why is it that all Americans that do not subscribe to funding college, medical care, etc for criminals is a bigot. Illegals have no right to any of our services payed for by American tax payers. Our tax dollars should first go to the less fortunate citizens of America, not to criminal squatters who abuse our services and have nothing to offer.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |

      They are a strain on californias resources, they make our classrooms consist of 60 students instead of 30. they are art, sports, and after school programs away because we have to feed illegals fee lunches, and that is slowly destroying our western civilized culture.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kelly

      Even with a degree....they can't hold a job unless they are legal.

      December 20, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Culmo80

    Makes sense to me...if you are BROKE, which California and the U.S. are, why are you spending money on those who didn't come here legally? Cut these programs and you cut the incentive for people to come here illegally. Rewarding bad behavior only encourages bad behavior.

    Oh and I don't care if they're from Mexico or Denmark...illegal means illegal!

    December 20, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. b

    it is odd given the state of the economy

    December 20, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ben

    We don't give free money to other criminals who broke the law, why should be make an exception for illegals. This will just encourage illegals to cross the border illegally because they know that their children are going to get full benefits from the law abiding taxpayers. All benefits for illegals and their children should be stopped immediately.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ManUtdBruin

    oh royce hall, how beautiful you are

    go bruins!

    December 20, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. hippediva

    Two half-wits do not make a whole.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. saywhat

    Sure. Also defund Social Security & Medicare. Cut back on education, ignore crumbling infrastructure and generally forget about the welfare of Americans.
    But for goodness sake do not end wars or feeding MIC. Lets have more wars & military interventions instead. And continue doling out billions of dollars to our ' closest ally'.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lowell

      Typical liberal cahnging to argument to another subject-wars. We are not talking about wars, but education spending.
      Licberalism is a mental disorder.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christopher Yoder

      What I find funny is that the liberal assertion that Republicans are war hawks is historically incorrect. If one were to look at the history of the 20th century one would find that President Wilson (d) wanted to become active in the First World War over the objections of the Republicans. The same story is true of President Roosevelt (d) in the Second World War, the Korean War was started under the stewardship of President Johnson (d) and don't forget that American involvement in Vietnam became significant under President Kennedy (d). Now lets assume that the First and Second World Wars were necessary wars to protect the world's freedom that leaves the Vietnam War, which has drawn many comparisons to the current military operations. That conflict left approx 50,000 people dead as opposed to the 5,000 in two military operations. The math is simple. Democrats involved or felt it was necessary to involve America in wars that cost millions of American lives. So please stop acting like an ignoramus, if possible, and realize that Democrats are far more hawkish than the Republicans. Thus ends the lecture, hope you found some enlightenment.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Well, well..

    This has absolutely nothing to do with bigotry. This act is in essence rewarding those that came here illegally. Why not set aside this money for children who were born and raised here in the U.S. LEGALLY? What kind of message is California sending? The direction in which this country is going is quite disheartening.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Chingon

    Here we go again. GOP'ers looking through their A holes, not the long range oner where these students become taxable and will contribute extra to the economy and their newly found homeland.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Culmo80

      Half of the U.S. does not pay taxes as it is...and considering most wealth earned by illegal immigrants is sent back to Mexico...just how does the U.S. profit in the long-run?

      December 20, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • corpsman

      Culmo80: Let me explain it to you. The next time you buy lettuce (or almost any other produce) at the store, the next time you eat out in a restaurant, etc, you are, in effect, being "subsidized" by the cheap labor of (often illegal) immigrants. Get rid of them and you'll instantly dock your standard of living 15-20%.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Culmo80


      Assuming that is completely true, it is irresponsible for a nation to exist like this.

      But here's another truth...the markets balance themselves out. You might see a rise in cost of living, but you'd also see a decrease in demand...hence the prices of goods would fall in the long run. Employers who previously employed cheap labor would have to adjust their business model or they go under. That's how markets work.

      Again, by rewarding bad behavior, all you are doing is encouraging bad behavior.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christopher Yoder

      Should you and I and every taxpayer pay for rapists, murderers, thieves or any other criminal to go to college? If your answer is no then it is illogical for you to ask me to pay for ILLEGAL immigrants to go to college. They are both criminals and thus not privy to taxpayer funds. Plain and simple.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. TiredODaCrap

    The plan sets aside $65 million for the children of illegal immigrants. Wow! I wonder if the children of middle class CITIZENS could use any of that money??? How, again, does illegal immigration NOT affect US citizens????

    December 20, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ryan

    if we as a state could afford it, then maybe. but, we can't afford to keep spending money. How about $65million on jobs? that would help a lot more of our own citizens out right now in this economy.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Andrew

    We should set aside money for plant food for invading plant species in CA too. That would be cool.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Reality Check

    Miguel Molero you are an IDIOT.
    Illegals should never get a penny, even IF the state of California was swimming in surplus money.
    If illegals don't like it or find it unfair or mean, then leave. If they think they can do better where they came from, then just go back. They did it once, they can do it again.
    Not for a second, are they expected to "put up" with America's BS. Just go, and take Molero with you.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. angryblkman

    it is crazy to give money to lawbreakers.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. yannaes

    My Step-Daughter is an American Citizen and cannot get the assistance she needs to complete her education because Jose Rodriquez Calvalio Juarez got it with papers. Thanks Callifornia.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • me

      Right, because ALL illegal immigrants are Hispanic right? if I could name you the many African and European illegal immigrants that I know.. Nobody ever focuses on that.

      December 21, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
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