The California Dream Act - What it is, and, What it is not October 2011

Thứ Tư, 19 Tháng Mười 201100:00(Xem: 59156)
The California Dream Act - What it is, and, What it is not October 2011
On October 9, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the California Dream Act into law. This was AB 131, the second part of the California Dream Act legislation. It allows illegal alien students to have access to both public and private funding for California colleges, starting in 2013. With the signing of the bill, Gov. Brown fulfilled his campaign promise of allowing high-achieving students to have access to public education funding, regardless of their immigration status.
The California Dream Act will not provide any immigration benefits to illegal immigrant students. It will just permit certain illegal alien students who have graduated from high school and are attending public universities in California to qualify for state financial aid. If they meet the same requirements as all other students applying for financial aid at state universities, they will qualify for financial aid after all the other legal residents have applied.
The new law will affect less than one percent of all students attending the University of California, the California State Universities and the California Community Colleges. The California Department of Finance estimates that the new law will result in the expenditure of an additional $14.5 million in CalGrants to 2,500 university students who are in California illegally. This is just 1% of the $1.4 billion annual funding for CalGrants.
The California DREAM Act is only about allowing illegal alien students to apply for financial aid. It has no connection with the federal DREAM Act, which is about the immigration status of illegal alien children. 
The federal DREAM Act creates a path to citizenship for children of illegal immigrants who can prove their education status and who can show an effort to become a legal resident. It would apply to aliens who entered the United States illegally as children under the age of 16 and have lived in the United States for at least five years, who have obtained a high school or General Education Development diploma, and have demonstrated "good moral character". This federal Dream Act failed to get enough support in Congress last year, though it could be introduced again this year or next year as part of a political effort to appease Hispanic voters.
The pro’s and con’s of California’s DREAM Act: A spokesperson for the anti-immigrant Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform called the new law a "reckless use of taxpayer" money.
In contrast, supporters of the California DREAM Act say that since the State of California already financed illegal alien students’ primary and secondary education for 12 years, the state should make it possible for such students to attend a public university. In most cases, the students’ parents did not tell them about their illegal immigration status until they applied for publicly-funded loans and scholarships. Supporters of the DREAM Act say it makes no sense to deprive the children of the opportunity to gain a decent education and contribute to society. The DREAM Act’s tiny percentage of the state’s education budget will help these students become productive members of society.

California is one of about a dozen states that allow illegal alien students to qualify to pay in-state tuition. With the signing of the DREAM Act, California joins Texas and New Mexico in permitting these students to obtain state-funded financial aid.
Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, Republican from Hesperia, said the bill's passage is the biggest mistake the Democratic Party has made and that the polling indicates that 80 to 90 percent of Californians are against this DREAM Act. He says it is absolutely, fundamentally, wrong and unfair and it is an insult to people who have worked and played by the rules, including those who have come to this country legally.
Ginny Rapini, coordinator for the NorCal Tea Party Patriots, said that giving illegal immigrants an education funded by California taxpayers isn't fair to the legal residents who can't afford to pay for their own tuition.
Supporters of the DREAM Act argue that children who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents shouldn't be punished.

Q.1. For the California DREAM Act, do the applicants need to be a certain age or meet any other requirements?
A.1. The only requirements for these illegal immigrants is that they graduate from a California state high school and can show that they have both the merit and need to apply for publicly funded scholarships and other state aid.
Q.2. Will this new law help illegal immigrant students get a job after they graduate?
A.2. These students will be allowed to apply for state aid to pay for their education, but the California Dream Act will not help them to receive any immigration benefits. In other words, they will have a college education but will not be able to apply for employment authorization. After they graduate, they will still be in the US illegally, unless the federal DREAM Act is passed by Congress. Passage of the federal DREAM Act by Congress would provide a path to legalization and a green card.
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