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."

You can listen to the CNN Radio Reports podcast on itunes or subscribeto the podcast here.

soundoff (266 Responses)
  1. jdk

    Hello you poor dumbazzes in Cali. Your kids education are getting axed big time while the wetbacks are going to get it free. You people better wake up and smell whats going on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 20, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • mrgmorgan56

      You're an idiot...

      December 20, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOSE0311USMC

      I AGREE. WAKE PEOPLE..

      December 20, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOSE0311USMC

      I AGREE WITH YOU. WAKE UP AMERICA

      December 20, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Anomic Office Drone

    I am a very liberal guy who supports the idea of the dream act in principle, but this is bad timing. California's colleges are already overcrowded and underfunded, not to mention our budget problems. This shouldn't have been a top priority and has no business being made law when we're still running such major deficits. Californians are set to vote on a tax hike to close the deficit, a ballot initiative supported by Gov. Brown. As much as I support the governor, I don't understand how he thinks it's okay to spend $65 million giving away handouts to illegal immigrants while simultaneously asking for more money from the taxpayers and failing to increase capacity in our colleges for legal students, much less illegal ones.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • CaliCat

      Agreed!

      December 20, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOSE0311USMC

      I AGREE WITH YOU. CALIFORNIA IS IN DEBT, HOW CAN THEY COME UP WITH $ 60,000 MILLION FOR ILLEGALS ? IS OBVIOUS WHY CAL IS IN A FINANCIAL MESS, PAYING HOSPITAL BILLS FOR ILLEGALS-PAYING TO EDUCATE ILLEGAL-MY GOD, IF I WAS A TAX PAYER IN CAL I WOULD GET THE HELL OUT ...AMERICANS ARE HAVING A TOUGH TIME PAYING THEIR BILLS...NOW WE ARE BEING FORCE TO TAKE CARE OF ALL THE ILLEGALS ?? I HEARD THAT ARIZONA ILLEGALS ARE MOVING TO CALIFORNIA... DEPORT ALL ILLEGAL PLEASE. BY THE WAY I'M A HISPANIC GUY, SO DON'T CALL ME A BIGOT.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jessica

      "Jose" you could just as easily tell people that your skin is green and it wouldn't make a difference. You're still a bigot.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • AnAmerican

      Jessica dear you are one of the biggest bigots on this board. How can that be you ask feigning shock?
      Because your short reply to Jose stated it all. You are racist, believing that ILLEGALS are a race. ILLEGAL is actually an immigration status meaning someone, from any other country, is here illegally.

      December 20, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Robert

    This is all beyond me..I belong to no political party and I'm a pragmatist....The state is broke and working middle class citizens of all races can no longer afford to send their children to college. The Demos are just building a present and future voting block with this

    December 20, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOSE0311USMC

      I AGREE. MANY OF US CAN'T AFFORD TO SEND OUR KIDS TO COLLEGE, BUT WE ARE GOING TO HELP ILLEGALS KIDS GO TO COLLEGE ?? IT MAKES PEOPLE TO GET VIOLENT . AND ILLEGALS ACCUSE US OF BEING BIGOTS..

      December 20, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Neeneko

    This is the classic trade off between long term investment and short term savings. Stuff like this is expensive, and we are having budget problems.. on the other hand the payoff long term for having a large educated workforce is significant and cutting back on that causes financial issues later.

    We are, unfortunately a very short sighted country.. so I am sure it will get axed. Planning and investment in the future is not something we excel at... short term profits and hoping that the market will magically fix things later tend to be more our style.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOSE0311USMC

      LETS EDUCATE THE AMERICAN KIDS, NOT THE ILLEGALS.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Disgusted

      You can't invest what you don't have. California doesn't have the money, it's borrowing it.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tante Waileka

      Illegals should be branded with a tattoo and a tracking chip under their skin before being deported. At least to remove both would hurt those SOBs. Children born to illegals in this country should be exactly what their parents are: ILLEGAL aliens and DEPORTED. I was smart enough to finally get the heck out of that stupid state and move to the South. Now I'm in Texas, NO state employment tax!!! You can shoot illegals at the border too (not really, but it should be legal to do that). American for AMERICANs. Third-worlders, build up your own country and keep your stinkin' illegal a's out of my country!!!

      December 20, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • NCGUY

      I Would agree with you if you could guarantee that after college they would stay in California to work there.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      The issue is not investing taxpayer money in education, but in investing in the education of the children of, and let me emphasize the first word here, -illegal- immigrants. Seriously. We're not talking about providing emergency medical care here, which is strictly humanitarian. We're talking about providing grants to the children of Illegals – when the state doesn't have the money to provide grants to the -legal- residents.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • CAborn60

      It is illegal for them to work in this country, therefore, why spend taxpayer dollars to educuate them!

      December 20, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ed

    Illegals should be banned – PERIOD! Out of state students should not be allowed in unless they pay a very big price over and above what Califonia residents pay. I'd say triple or quadruple it because once they get the education, they're gone and not contributing to our California economy after graduation. THIS IS OUR STATE. The Dream Act makes me want to P U K E!

    December 20, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thizz

      you must have never went to college lol. out of state students already pay way more than instate.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • alice

      You are clearly an idiot. Every state school charges higher tuition for out of state students. You clearly did not go to college. And illegals should not be banned, we are a country of immigrants, the Native Americans should get those grants since we basically screwed them over for the past 200+ years.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hyperactive216

      Alice the idiot, How bout you just pay for them and I dont. That works for me!!

      December 20, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. DL

    State budget crisis aside...why do they need to specify a target group to get the money? Why can't all students just submit an application for the grant money and go through all the motions. (Write an essay..show their finances..throw in some SAT scores and grades). There are plenty of students who worked hard through high school and don't have the money to continue on. If an illegal applicant happens to have the grades and essay to beat out citizens for the money, more power to them. But giving money to somebody who hasn't shown they can perform in high school over somebody who's worked hard to get into college...that doesn't quite sound right.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tante Waileka

      Spoken like a TRUE Illegal Alien!!!

      December 20, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • DSL2304

      I believe that there should be no state grants given for education. Period. If you want to go to college, pay for it. Borrow the money, then pay back your loan once u get a job after graduation. Why do people who do not have children have to pay for education grants?

      December 20, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Julia

    If these children are not educated then ey turn into criminals. Education is life greatest equalizer an makes for decent human beings.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • cleat

      you are right- of course you might want to START WITH US CITIZENS getting educated FIRST....

      December 20, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOSE0311USMC

      ILLEGALS SHOULDN'T BE AN AMERICAN TAX PAYERS PROBLEM. BLAME THEIR PARENTS

      December 20, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christopher Yoder

      How so? Some of the worst despots in history were educated. Pol Pot is a great example of this.

      What is truly wrong with this country is not a matter of Liberal v Conservative, legal v illegal but, rather, a matter of people do not think, people do not read, people do not understand history and thus, we are doomed to repeat it.

      December 20, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Chalda

    The problem is that $65 million is being set aside specifically for one group. If you are going to set aside educational money, it should be set aside for only the best and the brightest. Jobs are lacking in America. It is the best and the brightest who are going to start businesses in the future. They will innovate and help provide jobs across America.

    With regards to the illegal thing, there are loads of foreign nationals taking spots in our universities. They are going to take that know how and education away with them. We need to use our resources to sustain our economic standard and improve our future prospects not the future of other countries. We should be setting aside money for the advanced technical degrees. That's the now and the future. If by investing in the best technical person, we invest in our future and an illegal immigrant at the same time. I'm OK with that.

    That being said, this law is written as an investment in votes and power. It wasn't done properly and fairly. Typical political garbage.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOSE0311USMC

      THAT IS DISCRIMINATION AGAINST POOR AMERICAN KIDS THAT CAN'T AFFORD COLLEGE

      December 20, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chalda

      If poor american kids are the smartest, hardest-working, best of the bunch, they should get all the money they need to get all of the education they need.

      I do discriminate...towards achievement. I want all of my tax money going to the smartest kids whoever they might be. Rich or poor, black or white, listens to Lady Gaga or not....wait a minute...maybe not the last one.

      Not one person has earned that money. To me, whoever works the hardest and does the best should be first in line for this investment. Key word: investment.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. justin

    i love california. i love going to the food stamp office and seeing fat women in pajamas leaving in a brand new suv or dodge truck(always shiny red or white). i love going online and clicking 5 buttons and instantly recieving my unemployment benefits onto my visa credit card. its awesome. come here guys, everything is free if you know how to milk the system. have a couple kids and your SET!. get that welfare comin in, and low cost housing. lol its never gonna end guys. you think people will just stop being lazy? NO, because its just so dam easy to get gov assistance in CA. i dont even have to show the EDD department what jobs im looking for, just a couple clicks and im good to go. its AWESOME, move here guys

    December 20, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOSE0311USMC

      I WAS AT THE UNEMPLOYMENT OFFICE AND MOST OF THE PEOPLE LOOK LIKE ILLEGALS ? HOW DO ILLEGALS COLLECT BENEFITS IF THEY ARE ILLEGALS ??

      December 20, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. GFL

    CNN is a tool used for mass propoganda. Haha... the stuff is so fake its laughable, besides maybe the weather and sports, its all a tool to manipulate your mind. Corporate media does not care to tell you the truth, simply because it dosn't coincide with THE agenda. We will see big changes next year, however... don't count on these guys to fill you in.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. justin

    well jose. in fact, roughly 57% of illegal families are on gov assistance bro. it WONT go down, it WILL go up. nothing we can do to stop it, except wait for the real problems to start.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Natasha

    That kid came here illegally with his family when he was 11? Doesn't that make HIM illegal, too??

    December 20, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Richard

    I am no way a Republitard but have to agree with cutting this thing, why should we tax payers pay for the education of illegals, how come I as a US citizen and a tax payer have no such funding for myself? But illegals can take my money so that they can have a better life, something wrong here Democrats, better get your act toghether.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christopher Yoder

      Richard, why do you resort to name calling like "republitard." It does not lend credence to you viewpoint but does lend credence to the fact that you are an ignoramus who cannot articulate your opinions, probably because you haven't done the leg work to.

      December 20, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hyperactive216

      I agree with Christopher, Richard is an ignoramus.

      December 20, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. justin

    richard. get fired/laid off from your job. then let the unemployment start coming in. then apply for food stamps, which is a given if unemployed. then start working on low cost apartment housing, when you move in there, you will find alot of other residents that can give you advice on how to milk the system dry. if you can, become partially blind, good disability benefits there, and beats being handicapped and working as a ticket taker at the movies.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. roberto

    wow i see how white haters and latino losers post overhere!! you all loser don't even own a house but yeah you own the country, what a joke

    December 20, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
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