Petitions to repeal Dream Act being distributed, fight not over yet
by Christopher Livingston
Even before Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 131 , also known as the California Dream Act, the battle between the opposing and supporting sides raged.
Petitions are currently being distributed in 21 counties to repeal the bill signed into law on October 9th. The act makes undocumented students eligible to receive state financial aid to attend universities and community colleges in California.
The California Dream Act was introduced by State Assemblyman Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles) as a two-part bill: AB 130 and AB 131. The first one was signed by Governor Brown on July 25. AB 130 allows undocumented students to apply for private scholarships. While this created some controversy, there has not been near as much as generated by AB 131
“In essence, A.B. 131 says ‘If you ignore our immigration laws, it’s OK.’ I have no doubt that this new law will encourage additional illegal immigration,” Assemblyman Curt Hagman stated.
The effort to repeal the Dream Act is being spearheaded by State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly. In order for the repeal action to be on the ballot next election, a total of 505,000 signatures must be acquired by January 6th, 2012.
KFSN of Fresno conjectures that the referendum will not see much progress. Seven different referendums in the state were unable to get their respective signatures required within their 90-day windows.
There are certain requirements to be eligible for the aid from AB 131. Students must have graduated from a California high school and have attended a California high school for at least three years. They must also be progressing towards citizenship, show financial need, and have good academic standing.