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. justin

    roberto, why work or own a house when i can live off the government and play computer games all day?

    December 20, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • roberto

      lol i like it

      December 20, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Davein SC

      I COULD CARE LESS IF THESE ILLEGALS HAVE A PLACE TO SLEEP OR FOOD TO EAT. CARRY YOUR SORRY A * S BACK HOME, YOU ARE NOT WELCOMED HERE.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. JOSE0311USMC

    CALIFORNIA IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF WHAT HAPPENS TO A CITY THAT WELCOME ILLEGALS.. SEE ILLEGALS TAKE BUT GIVE LITTLE IN RETURN...THEY SEND THE MONEY BACK TO MEXICO,,,,CALIFORNIA IS ALSO A SANCTUARY CITY FOR ILLEGALS...CALIFORNIA NEED JOE ARPAIO FOR GOVERNOR.....HOPING FOR THE SUPREME COURT TO RULE IN FAVOR OF ARIZONA....SO STATES CAN ENFORCE THE IMMIGRATION LAWS THAT DEMOCRATS WON'T ENFORCE.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • 2Smart4Tea

      California is a state, not a city. Missed a lot of school, didn't you?

      December 20, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. seebofubar

    Cedillio is an idiot. No one said to punish the children for the sins of their parents, but why reward them? Stop this noncense and maybe you won't see as many illegals cross. It figures that the Democrats are behind this, it just gives them another voting block (if you think illegals don't vote, you're crazy). Democrats have lost the working class white vote and the votes of the most sucessful so they need to find voters somehow.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. justin

    i remember when the welfare committee limited the benefits to 3 children. then the Hispanic families started only having 3 kids. man if i had 3 kids, i suppose i could afford a brand new shiny red dodge truck like every other hispanic person on my street.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. justin

    i asked my illegal neighbor for some toilet paper cause i ran out. he had a big box of crappy toilet paper that he took from his company bathroom that he works at. ANYTHING that they can grab for free THEY WILL. and the dems love to make it so dam easy dont they? get those votes rushing in

    December 20, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      Lol...when my family runs out of toilet paper we BUY MORE...we don't ask our neighbors for some for free. Do you want to be the pot or the kettle?

      December 20, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. lesdel

    I think they should require drug test every week for these politicians, there can't be any other reason for their actions or lack of !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 20, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tom F - Winnetka Ca

    Cedillo's argument that “When they become job ready, are they going to be ready to lead us into the future and be productive and constructive?” holds no water. When they graduate, they are still here illegally and CANNOT get a job legally! Forget that they send all their money home, that is not a valid argument because it probably is not true. However, how can we as taxpayers pay for anyone to attend college (taking up places and scholarships for legal students) when they can NEVER contribute to society in the first place? I am NOT against immigration but I am for honoring the laws of the land.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Monique

    My parents are naturalized US citizens (after 20 years of being legal immigrants, trust me it is EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to get a green card) and I'm a college student, therefore where's my money!

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

      Monique – that's the problem. Where is the incentive to come here legally, which is a long, expensive process, when there won't necessarily be punishment, and now even a reward, for coming illegally? Why bother doing it legally?

      December 20, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hyperactive216

      Jen, You completely miss the point of becoming a citizen of my great country. We are a nation of laws, a nation of freedoms that have cost my, and many other, families a lot, and sometimes the ultimate price. We are protectors when we can be, but MUST take care of our own first. Smarmy answers do not accomplish this. So please do not respond to this post, but reflect and i am sure your itty bitty pea brain can figure it out you sack of shiz.

      December 20, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. larry5

    Anyone in favor of the Dream Act is in favor of the Mexican takeover of the California government. It's just that simple. Putting criminals in college is a good step in the takeover.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Don't argue about what's right or wrong.
    This is about getting votes.
    Illegal immigrants are more likely to vote for one party than for the other.
    How do you think those chips fall?

    December 20, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Davein SC

    What in the heck is wrong with this state and this country that we give money to law breaking immigrants. THIS STATE DISGUSTS ME.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  12. justin

    free everything for everyone. thats the way its supposed to work guys. jeeze

    December 20, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. justin

    the only reason i put up with this state, is because cops no longer give a crap if you have weed. and not to mention, CA has the best marijuana.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. RUFFNUTT (pit bull trainer)

    i work at taco bell.. and i like mexican chicks... do i qualify for free education?

    December 20, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. justin

    ruffnutt, you qualify for anything if you know how to grab the utter of the government.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
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