A key California state Senate committee approved AB 131 on Thursday, paving the way for the bill to move forward in the state Senate. The bill, part of the two-bill package known as the California Dream Act, would allow college students who are illegal immigrants and qualify for in-state tuition to apply for Cal Grants and other public financial aid. Governor Jerry Brown signed a companion bill last month which would allow undocumented students to apply for private aid. But based on his statements during an editorial board meeting with the Fresno Bee last week, the Governor, citing concerns over cost controls, would not yet commit to signing this portion of the bill. Many undocumented students were brought here by the parents as children, and have spent their entire lives in our education system. California businesses have complained that there’s a dearth of qualified college graduates coming down the pike, and some hail the Dream Act as a solid investment in the state’s economic future. Do you support this bill as an important step forward for undocumented students in California? Or do you oppose the idea of giving financial aid to these students - especially when the state is in such dire financial straits?
Leslie Berestein Rojas, KPCC's Multi-American blogger