SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The state Senate on Wednesday approved the second half of contentious legislation that would allow students who are illegal immigrants to apply for state-funded scholarships and financial aid.

The Senate approved AB131, also known as the California Dream Act, with a 22-11 vote, leaving it just one step away from the governor’s desk.

The state Assembly must consider changes to the bill it previously passed before it can go to Gov. Jerry Brown.

“These students are valedictorians, they’re class presidents, and they’re all-star athletes. They are the future of California,” said Sen. Charles Calderon, D-Whittier, who carried the bill in the Senate.

The bill is part of a legislative package by Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles. Last month, Brown, a Democrat, signed a separate bill by Cedillo approving private scholarships and loans for illegal immigrant students. AB131 would make those students eligible for state-funded financial aid.

Critics say allowing access to those state resources encourages illegal immigration. Supporters counter that the students, many of whom were brought to the United States as young children, shouldn’t be punished for their parents’ actions.

Sen. Doug La Malfa, R-Willows, opposed the bill Wednesday. He read a letter from a constituent who said his daughter’s California education grant was recently cut. He said passing a law such as this would be like rubbing salt in his wound.

Cedillo’s legislative package differs from the federal Dream Act, a proposal that would create a path to citizenship for those who are brought to the country illegally as children.

Under the bill approved Wednesday, illegal immigrant students would have to meet the same requirements as others but only would qualify for financial aid that remains after legal residents apply.

“They basically receive the leftovers,” Calderon said.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (40)
  1. Errrrrrrrr says:

    California is becomming such a toilet….HELP!!!!

  2. nobama says:

    We have a president who hates America and wants it taken down a notch, the democrats can only stay in power by keeping the poor down, giving them handouts so they have no incentive to succeed….. why do you think we have generational welfare??? Keep voting democratic, and watch how bad things get.

    1. michelle says:

      neither a Democrat or Republican can fix this problem. We need new blood in office. We need a third party person to shake things up!

  3. MP says:

    this is sad! what about the middle class who is struggling to pay for their eeducation. HELP AMERICANS FIRST!!!!

  4. LindsayC says:

    What friggen leftovers? There’s not enough to give to US citizen students and yet there will be leftovers? Lies.
    All those illegals in high school SHOULDN’T BE THERE–they should be BANNED from schools and deported with or without their parents. Then there wouldn’t be the “need” to allow them to attend OUR colleges.
    This is what we get for voting Democrat!

  5. ? says:

    WHAT! why are lllegal immigrants getting aid? They are llegal! and on top of that we the tax payers pay millions + so they will not cross the borders. So why are we paying so much to keep them out, and yet we are giving lllegals aid .

  6. Cesar A. Cuadra says:

    So, California is on the verge of being broke and the joker politicians are going to reward illegals the same rights as citizens? Does that mean we US citizens will take a backseat to ileagals? How can they justify making an attempt to balance the buget if they are giving those that are working tax funds to those that make no contribution into it?

  7. Tom says:

    This is such bulls@#t my daughter gets penalized because we work has a 4.0 has not lived with us for over 2 years and is refused help from everywhere your parents income is your income until your 26 and she is true american COME ON AMERICA LETS CLEAN HOUSE THIS IS NOT FAIR

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