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. RUFFNUTT (pit bull trainer)

    everyone knows at pizzahut all the cooks are illegals..
    they all use the same ss#...
    most of the cooks have two jobs and work 2 jobs and send all they money the make home...

    December 20, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. RUFFNUTT (pit bull trainer)

    i like rueben.. he is finally learning to speak english..
    most of them sell drugs on the side...
    the thing that makes me mad is they are expensive and wont cut me a break on the price

    December 20, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. CScott

    Why should TAX paying CITIZEN pay for these people mother and father illegal act. NO HAND OUT, DON'T LIKE IT CRAWL BACK, WHO INVITED YOU HERE,WANTING SPECIAL TREATMENT

    December 20, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • DAISHI

      Are you implying the kids intentionally came here seeking special treatment? Because they likely had no choice in the matter.

      December 20, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oi

      @DAISHI: No, he's implying (and not so subtly) that we cannot award children for the illegal acts of their parents. It just engenders more parents to come here illegally, knowing people like you will support their kids staying here despite their parents' illegal border crossings. They are using your bleeding heart hand-wringing against you to take advantage of our country, and you are falling for it hook, line and sinker.

      December 20, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |

    we are broke because you people dont know how to run a GOVERMENT . BEAT IT

    December 20, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. gahh

    Perry is doing it in Texas, of course nobody knew it until recently. The money he gave to illegals which is in the millions of dollars, could have been used to help the poor and elderly pay their utility bills, but instead he gave it to illegals in Grants. He was already giving illegals in state tuition, this just adds to his demise. He is a hypocrite.

    December 20, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. wildflower

    I'm a Democrat and I agree with Donnelly and Culmo08 100%!

    December 20, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. gahh

    Perry is doing it in Texas, of course nobody knew it until recently. The money he gave to illegals which is in the millions of dollars, could have been used to help the poor and elderly pay their utility bills, but instead he gave it to illegals in Grants. He was already giving illegals in state tuition, this just adds to his demise. He is a true hypocrite.

    December 20, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. wildflower

    Dario, exactly! If we people knew how to run a government we wouldn't have such a huge problem with illegal immigrants. We would deport their asses AND their children without a second thought!

    December 20, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Hardliner

    If the State Government of California started a sovereign wealth fund that and managed it competently, there would be no such thing as a budget crisis in the State of California. That's what a competent legislator would do, not only propose this singular objective that would solve the problem of too little money, but also do the legwork and turn in a viable plan for it and if it doesn't go through, change professions and become a money manager to prove it out. An inept legislator or individual, would whine, procrastinate and continue to refuse to lift the veil of their personal ignorance because they are frightened to death of enlightenment in any shape or form, and who have clearly failed miserably to learn “when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, you don't whine like a stupid child”. Unbelievable, the lack of intelligence in this world.

    December 20, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ntm91307

    Another case of both sides make good points. These kids were brought here by their parents. They didn't "jump the fence" on their own. They're still illegal aliens, just not quite as culpable as their parents. On the other hand reducing funding for citizen students in order to increase it for non-citizen students doesn't make much sense either...especially when you're going broke. No matter who you fund for education you increase the potential for increased tax revenue once they graduate so that argument is a wash. But...I think I have the solution's actually in the wording of the article itself.

    Let these kids serve 2 years in the armed forces when they turn 18/19 years old. They can donate this time to the country they claim to want to be an equal citizen of. Since they had no say about the country of their birth and little-to-none about where they ended up give them this opportunity to make their first responsible decision about where they want to stay.

    In any branch of the service there is a great opportunity to learn basic life skills that will carry you through your life no matter where you end up living. You can also, potentially, learn a trade (mechanic, electrician, computers, etc.). If, after a minimum of 2 years, they are honorably discharged they can apply for college through the GI bill. I think by that point in their lives they will have matured enough to appreciate the importance of their decision and be ready to take that education FAR more seriously than they would have had we just handed it to them at 18.

    Problem solved! NEXT!!! 🙂

    My 2 cents...

    December 20, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. 2ndAmendmentForever

    It's a simple thing.. you break the law by entering the country illegally. You have kids in a country you entered illegally. Change the rule that states these children are by default US Citizens, and deport them all.

    Case closed.

    December 20, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oi

      Thank you!! Finally some common sense being expressed here!

      December 20, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. martian

    Easy enough. Let the people who benefit from the DREAM act also sign a bond to pay back their grant either through state employment or financing.

    December 20, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sean

    I was not eligible for any grants in college because my parents made too much money, when in reality, we were simply middle class(Dad in the military and Mom a private school teacher). I didn't have a college fund from my parents either. I worked throughout college and am now in the military, still paying for college, essentially, through student loans. I hope this repeal goes through because its not fair to tax-paying citizens who get rejected for such financial assistance. Also, being half Filipino, I have seen my Uncle work hard to earn his US citizenship and pay his taxes, so I have little sympathy for illegals.

    December 20, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bibi

      Go back to the Philippines mud baby!

      December 20, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oi

      Bibi, you are truly a t-u-r-d....

      December 20, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Author Charlieg

    Of course in the long term the real solution is to be like European countries who pay for school for all citizens so long as they keep passing their tests and are in a major with a reasonable chance of graduating students and get them a job. It helps Sean above. It helps the US in the long term. Hispanics from Central and South America may learn the administrative and technical skills to create meaningful jobs in the countries they are from. By developing those countries, we develop customers for our goods and remove the desire for future citizens of those countries to come here looking for a living and dignity. All win.

    As Dad always said, "Don't cut off your nose to spite your face." He also said, "Don't work hard; work smart." By that he meant looking for a long term solution that helps all. When will our politicians learn this?

    December 20, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Author Charlieg

      Why take an 18 year old kid who does not speak Spanish, and send him to a country where they only speak Spanish. With no language skills or technical skills, the 18 year old will be forced to look for people who do speak English, and who will return him, angry, to the US. He will be forced to join a Hispanic gang. Then he comes back to the US, an angry gang member.

      Is not the idea of training the teen for a real job, and helping to create a vibrant economy in Central America a far better idea? It may offend conservative sensibilities, but in the end everyone wins. I am not a conservative. I do not believe in cutting off my nose to spite my face.

      December 20, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • AnAmerican

      An 18 year old who does not speak Spanish? Who are you kidding? Chances are the parents that brought the kid over never learned English but even if they did the kid grew up speaking Spanish. Stop making things up.

      December 20, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bibi

      Your dad is an idiot

      December 20, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. AnAmerican

    And how can he join a Hispanic gang when he returns if he doesn't speak Spanish?!?! Wow, what kind of a make believe world you live in.
    And it is not our job to take money and college enrollement from Americans and blow it on ILLEGALS who won't even be able to get a job here as they are not legal.

    December 20, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
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