Every year, about 65,000 undocumented students graduate from U.S. high schools and 40 percent of them reside in California. But in California, those students were blocked from accessing financial aid to further their studies—something that resulted in thousands of would-be college graduates not furthering their educations. Now, thanks to more than 12,400 supporters who signed a petition, made calls, and demanded equal access to education in California, the state will see thousands and thousands of new graduates each year.
The full California DREAM Act ensures that undocumented students in the state can apply for and receive private and public financial aid. From the beginning, the bill faced enormous hurdles, as misinformation flowed, the bill was tied up in committee and seemed like it wouldn’t reach the floor for a vote in time, and, finally, lingered on the governor’s desk as it awaited a signature.
But students from the California Dream Network mobilized around the petition, organized personal deliveries around the state, and encouraged supporters to make daily calls to legislators and the governor to make sure that the dreams of so many Californians would not be overlooked. It worked: On October 8, 2011, Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 131, the final half of the California Dream Network, into law!
UPDATE: On Monday, August 25th, Governor Jerry Brown signed the slimmer portion of the California Dream Act (AB 130) into law during a visit to Los Angeles. On September 4th, 2011 the California State Assembly approved AB 131 - the second half of the CA Dream Act and sent it over to Governor Brown's desk for signature. Now, Governor Brown has until October 9th to sign or veto AB 131. We thank you for your support and urge you to take action.
Call Governor Brown and Ask Him to Sign the DreamAct
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Every year, approximately 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high schools across the nation with 40 percent of them residing in the state of California.
A significant number of these hard-working immigrant youth are student body presidents, honor students, community leaders, outstanding athletes, and aspiring professionals who desire to pursue and complete a higher education and contribute back to their communities. However, due to their immigration status undocumented students are unable to access state or federal financial aid and thus cannot pursue their higher educational goals.
The CA Dream Act (AB130 and AB131) is common sense legislation that must be enacted into law to provide equal access to higher education to all California students.
AB 130 would allow students who meet in-state tuition requirements to apply for and receive scholarships derived from non-state funds, while AB 131 would provide Board of Governors (BOG) Fee Waiver, Institutional Student Aid, and Cal Grants. Both, AB 130 and AB 131 would ensure that California’s investment in the education of immigrant youth continues beyond K-12 by granting hard-working undocumented youth the opportunity to pursue and achieve their higher educational goals and thus create a more educated, innovative and competitive workforce.
At a time when the economic projections for the state of California suggest that by 2025, two of every five jobs will require a college graduate, we must ensure that all California students have equal access to higher education.