Gov. Brown Signs Cedillo's Dream Act

The historic measure, long championed by Assemblyman Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles), will open the door to college funding for undocumented students.

Undocumented students in California will soon be eligible for State assistnace to attend college.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Governor Jerry Brown on Saturday signed the California DREAM Act into law, granting undocumented students admitted to state universities access to Cal-Grant assistance.

Click here to read the full Times story

According to the Times, Gov. Brown cited the benefits of providing more opportunites to high achieving students as motivation for signing the bill. 

“Going to college is a dream that promises intellectual excitement and creative thinking,'' Brown said in a statement. "The Dream Act benefits us all by giving top students a chance to improve their lives and the lives of all of us."

Luis Antezana, a member and student at Cal-State Los Angeles, is among the Highland Park students that could benefit from the passage of the DREAM Act once it goes into effect in 2013

An undocumented student from Bolivia, his grades and sterling list of extra-curricular activities made him eligible for a college in the University of California system, but his citizenship status made it almost impossible for him to afford it.

He told Highland Park-Mount Washington Patch that he did not become aware of his citizenship status until his senior year at .

Prior to the bill's passage, Antezana said The DREAM Act would "give hope and a new incentive to battered and beaten undocumented students who have lost the will to continue with their education and become the doctors, lawyers, legislators and politicians they dreamed about when they were kids."

Antezana said the following about the passage of the bill:

"If I wasn't too tired from my four hour Saturday class I would be jumping up and down right now. It has been a bitter-sweet road. But I feel happy, rejuvenated, empowered. I am very grateful that economically disadvantaged students who, unfortunately, weren't born here but have worked hard and earned top grades in high school will now get a bit of financial support from the State government. I am just so happy and hopeful."

Assemblyman Gilberto Cedillo (D-Los Angeles), whose district includes parts of Highland Park and Mount Washington, first introduced the California DREAM Act in 2006, according to the californiadreamact.org. The legislation was split into two bills in January.  The first part, Assembly Bill 130, was approved and signed by the governor earlier this year.  That part allows students who meet the in-state tuition requirements to apply for and receive scholarships from non-state funds.

The legislation has been panned by detrators, though, who argue that it would take away money from U.S.A.-born students to help pay for the education of undocument students.

In a statement accompanying his signing of the bill, Brown referenced a California Dept. of Finance reported which stated that DREAM Act grants would account for 1-percent of the $1.3 billion Cal-Grant entitlement program.

The bill also prohibits undocumented students from applying for assistance from the much smaller $127 million Cal-Grants competitive fund before all legal citizens are served.

Arline DeSanctis October 09, 2011 at 05:07 PM
I thought there was not enough money for schools as it is. Many legal students dream of going to college but can no longer afford it. Where is the money coming from suddenly to help all the "illegal" or "undocumented" students who want to attend college? Why doesn't the government of Mexico finance their dream.
César Manzo Casiano October 10, 2011 at 02:25 PM
There is a lot of money that can be used to not only finance U.S. born students but undocumented immigrants as well and did you even read the article? It says that he is from BOLIVIA, a South American nation, not Mexico. Maybe if the United States would quit spending millions on pointless wars, they could reinvest that money into the education of it's populous. If you are going to comment, at least say something that doesn't make you look like a fool although it's a little too late for that.
Arline DeSanctis October 10, 2011 at 02:34 PM
I don't care what country they are from. If they are here illegally, their own country should finance their education and medical care. You say there is a lot of money to finance everyone? Where is it coming from? The colleges would certainly disagree with you, and so would our government. Allegedly every one is broke. American youth have to borrow money and put themselves in tremendous that they will be paying off most of their lives.
César Manzo Casiano October 10, 2011 at 02:42 PM
Of course the government would disagree, they want you to support their interests in occupying Iraq and the invasion of Afghanistan. The reason why we have to take out loans is because we are not receiving enough aid because resources are being pulled into areas that benefit the rich. Why is it that every other developed nation has a universal educational system for their citizens and universal health care? Even Cuba has seen the importance of free education and health care for it's people. They only reason why the United States hasn't developed similar systems is because they don't care. Ignorant comments like that are exactly why the United States is decaying.
alisa October 10, 2011 at 07:09 PM
since we are a nation of immigrants and decendents of immigrants (the majority anyway), I have to wonder how many of Arline's forebears went through our educational system before they received their citizenship.....all financial aid plans are required to be paid back, no matter the citizenship status of the person repaying the LOAN. Its not a gift-its access to resources based on need and academics. Our country is only improved by bright young people who are given opportunities that they are grateful for. Much more so than the majority of Americans who are so apathetic they don't vote, and feel entitled to denigrate whomever they please...


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