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)

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    December 20, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jeremy

    Stay Crazy California!

    December 20, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. yankees

    This guy knows whats up! No state should be paying for an ILLEGAL immigrants education, heck they don't even pay taxes for this, so why reward them?

    December 20, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • me

      Actually they do pay taxes. Ever heard of an ITIN? Most every illegal immigrant has one.. and every illegal that I know pays taxes.

      December 20, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Slim_Sammy

      @me. How many illegals do you know? Please post their names and addresses so we know you are not just making that up.

      December 20, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Danny

    This is not about whether these children of illegal parents should be allowed to apply for financial aid the same as every other struggling California family but whether or not California taxpayers should designate $65 million just for them.

    I say that if they work hard and qualify for financial aid programs that already exist then let them but don't make them special or give them free money that's not available to children of average "Legal" California parents.

    December 20, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • R.M.

      The problem is financial aide programs DON'T help them. That's why they came up with this idea. So kids don't get screwed over for their parents actions. People need to look at the long run. If they get the education, they no longer rely on the government. If they don't, they will grow to have poor jobs, have kids, and THEIR kids (minimum 3) WILL be living off of government funding. That will be more costly.

      December 20, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Slim_Sammy

      What if terrorists come in and work really hard before blowing something up?

      December 20, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katie W

      They can not legally work in the state. And they can not legally submitt for any type of professional license. But they ARE taking up seats in California college for legal residents. And I do know several students that are legally here that are having a hard time meeting their requirement classes due to cuts. But California can afford an additional 65 million a year for AB131? No. Go to

      December 22, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  5. Bibi

    Whatever happened to a white America? I have three Messicans living on my block alone!!!!

    December 20, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      messicans = messy neighbors

      gossicans = gossipy neighbors

      noissicans = noisy neighhbors

      animicans = animal neighbors who
      only come by to poop
      in your yard
      whitticans = suburban neighbor who
      always complaining
      about the messicans

      December 20, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • HenryB

      You have three Mexicans living on your street alone! Wow! They are overtaking this great white country. Help!!!

      December 20, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bibi

      Henry I meant families so reall there's like 39 of them

      December 20, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • R.M.

      White America? You're not from here either? Your family crossed the ocean. I hate it when Whites act like they don't have immigrant blood. Native Americans are the true Americans. And Mexicans are second because if you remember, the western states were Mexico at one point. So in reality, Whites moved into the Mexicans' and Natives Americans' neighborhoods.

      December 20, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mmmmm

    only in the "state" of california's turtle eggs lovers'

    December 20, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. KeithTexas

    It is a question of humanity not immigration. If we hold these young people back we are creating our own problems further down the road.

    December 20, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • R.M.

      That's exactly what I say. Give them a chance and they will never rely on the government again. If they don't get a chance, their future American born children will be relying on the government. Hmmm, help one for 4 yrs (college or US service), or help his 3-5 children for 18 years? Is it really that difficult?

      December 20, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oi

      Blithering bleeding heart liberals... of COURSE it's a question of legality! Those here illegally should be sent home and any potential incentives to draw illegals here must be eliminated. Their children are not our problem. We cannot rescue the entire world. Your position absolutely facilitates illegal immigration. It will never stop while folks like you are wringing your hands over "the children". That's EXACTLY how you are being taken serious advantage of and you're bringing down the rest of the country with you.

      December 20, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Oi

    “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.

    What a crock. It's NOT a core American value to give children of illegals a free pass (and tax dollars). You CANNOT allow people to profit from illegal acts, whether they be children or adults. If you allow the children of illegals to profit from the parents actions, you are simply perpetuating the problem and dangling a carrot in front of illegals, you are unquestionably facilitating illegal immigration. It has GOT to stop and giving tax dollars to the children of illegals IS insane whether we have an economy that's in the toilet or a booming one.

    December 20, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave in San Diego

      Oi you are completely out of touch with any semblence of reality. If you honestly think illegals are coming to this country because of the aid they will receive, I have some some tropical land in Alaska to sell you for dirt cheap. These people are coming to this country beacuse of poverty, famine, pestililence in whatever country they are from whether its Mexico, Zimbabwe, Mongolia, etc. These people come here and risk their lives in the process because their children will have better lives than where they are from. They are not fortunate to be born in this country like you and I. You and I as well as all other Amercians born in this country dont know what it is like to go days without food, drink and bathe in water that we deficate in, succomb to pestilence, have parents that have multiple chilldren just to have one who will survive to adulthood. These people will risk their lives for their children bt cramming into boats, trucks, tankers, etc. Spend some time in a 3rd world country and dig a well or help build a home. I have, and I can tell you these people do not care aboout how they get to the US or even if its citizens consider it legal or illegal. All they care about is leaving and getting to the US where they believe they will have a better chance at survival and a better life. As long as the US is the richest country in the world, people will risk everything to get here so their children can have a better life.

      December 20, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Slim_Sammy


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

    Thank you Mr. Donnelly.
    From all real americans, not this ACLU garbage.

    December 20, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. RUFFNUTT (pit bull trainer)

    how come mexican chicks get so ugly after their first baby?
    it's like they get hit by the ugly truck after they have kids...

    December 20, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. The Dude

    How uniquely American... rewarding bad behavior with special, preferential treatment. Why not, we do it for all of congress.

    One step closer to the fourth box of liberty.

    December 20, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. RUFFNUTT (pit bull trainer)

    i remember this one mexican chick i dated.. i thought she was hot cause she had big un's...
    i took her out to mc'donalds then we went to putt-putt mini golf, then we got a hotel room at ramada inn...
    when i got her in bed and she took her bra off.. she had a wonder bra.. and it was stuffed...
    i've learned then never to trust a mexican ever again....

    December 20, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. The Dude

    @RUFFNUTT, Wow, the same thing happened to me when I took off you're mom's bra... She must have been Mexican.

    December 20, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm probally has wonder bread to go with that wonder bra...

      December 21, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    At 277 grand, my Chevy is about to flip for the 3rd time, while some ungrateful little twip belonging to illegal immigrants are driving Beamers and Lamborghinis.

    December 21, 2011 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
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