After the devastating news of the Dream Act not being passed, some states like California and New York came up with the idea of creating their own version of the Dream Act. California’s Dream Act does not lead undocumented immigrants to citizenship, but it does allow them to pursue higher education and apply for financial aid, with restrictions.
Back in July, Governor Jerry Brown signed the first part of this bill that approved private scholarship and loans for undocumented immigrants students in the state. In some way this bill sounds tricky; only undocumented students who attended and graduated from a California High School and are on to citizenship or obtaining some kind of legal status qualify for this bill. Undocumented students who can’t be eligible for any legal status are still left out. In that case, this bill leaves out the students who were depending on this bill the most as a path to quality affordable education. If approved, they can get the benefits of the California Dream Act, which are to be able to pay resident tuition rates, states-financed scholarships, and to apply for state aid.
On October 8, 2011 Governor Brown approved the second part of this bill, making a lot of Californian students happy and disappointing others. Another tricky part about the bill is that undocumented students must meet the same requirements as citizens who apply for financial aid do and that they qualify only after all other students have applied.
The Californian Dream Act is bittersweet. Undocumented students should be valued as equally as citizen students. As the government continues to cut funding, there will be fewer resources available for student financial aid. In turn, undocumented students will be hurt the most by these cuts, and will be least likely to receive any aid trickles down. However, it does look like a new door open for undocumented students who need help and are interested in continuing their education after high school. It’s good that California is willing to acknowledge undocumented students after they saw the country close a door on their future.
Dream Act Becomes Law In California. By: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: October 8,2011