How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Part of California Dream Act headed to Senate floor

Photo by dsb nola/Flickr (Creative Commons)

One of two bills that make up what's referred to as the California Dream Act is now on its way to the Senate floor. The proposed legislation would allow undocumented college students to apply for and receive scholarships that don't come from state funds.

According to the office of sponsor Gil Cedillo, a Democratic Assembly member from Los Angeles, the bill known as AB 130 cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee today 5-3; a floor vote is expected Thursday.

A more contentious companion bill known as AB 131 was put in suspense, with a hearing deadline set for late August. AB 131 would allow undocumented students who meet in-state tuition requirements, as allowed by California law, to receive publicly funded financial aid at state colleges and universities, including Cal Grants. Here are excerpts from synopses of both bills:

AB 130:

This bill would provide that, on and after January 1, 2012, a student attending the California State University, the California Community Colleges, or the University of California who is exempt from paying nonresident tuition under the provision described above would be eligible to receive a scholarship derived from nonstate funds received, for the purpose of scholarships, by the segment at which he or she is a student.

AB 131:
This bill would amend the Donahoe Higher Education Act, as of July 1, 2012, to require the Trustees of the California State University and the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, and to request the regents, to establish procedures and forms that enable persons who are exempt from paying nonresident tuition under the above-described provision, or who meet equivalent requirements adopted by the regents, to apply for, and participate in, all student aid programs administered by these segments to the full extent permitted by federal law, except as provided. This provision would apply to the University of California only if the regents, by appropriate resolution, act to make it applicable.

This bill would provide that persons who are exempt from paying nonresident tuition under the above provision, or who meet equivalent requirements adopted by the regents, are eligible to apply for, and participate in, any student financial aid program administered by the State of California to the full extent permitted by federal law.


Unlike the similarly named proposed federal legislation recently heard in the Senate, neither bill proposes granting legal status to undocumented students.
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