Bill Would Let Illegal Immigrant Students Get Aid

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.)

  • mary

    How can we afford to give our tax money to illegals when Sacramento has slashed millions from the state budget? If we can afford this financial aid, then re-instate the Cal Grant money recently taken away from my legal children. And re-open those state parks which have been closed……the list can go on and on.

  • micheal

    the students may be as discribed by sen calderon but they are also illegal immergrants and not entitled to the generosity of califorians. they have apparently already taken from califorians more than their due with free high school educations.

    • Ray

      This is why when you see a bond measure for schools no matter how good it sounds vote no on it they just waste ch pay for these bonds No on all bonds,fee or tax hikes until we the taxpayers get our moneys worth.

  • Randy Gudgel

    With school funding constantly being slashed and tuition rates skyrocketing, why not go ahead and throw in MORE mouths to feed so even less people can get it! Good times! Listen, I am not against immigrants at all. I also don’t have anything against the children of illegal immigrants. The issue however is that we should not be giving stuff away for free to people who are not US citizens. I don’t care if that means give them a fast-track toward citizenship, but you should not give illegals ANYTHING for free if it is publicly funded.

  • JJC

    Vote these people out of office, apperently they do not know the basic english language of the word ILLEGAL.

  • brain

    this is another bull sh.. bill. I think politicos have too much time on their hands discussing the dumbest things.

  • brain

    I think illegals should PAY more for their schooling. Just like out of state students pay a higher tuition/fee, illegals/internationals should bring their own resources.

  • travieso

    it’s about time!! anyways illegals pay taxes when they get their paycheck, most americans don’t see that!!! it’s just racism!!!!

    • The end of America

      Illegals do not pay taxes, they make up a social security number, and claim the max deductions so no taxes are taken out…….. then whoever has that social security number gets a bill from the IRS the next year saying, where are the taxes you owe from your job at the car wash…………… then they have to explain it wasn’t them. I worked numerous cases of this type.

      • michelle

        You are wrong it is a different sequence and different number of numbers that a social. Many do pay taxes. However you are right that many abuse the system as you say.

      • Richard Thompson

        My neighbors have been in this country since 2001, they are from Mexico, they are illegal and have been paying taxes. I know cause they showed me their ITIN, which the IRS issues them knowing their legal status. I’m glad their kids will get the chance to a higher education. I agree with Michelle, some abuse the system, but that applies to ALL who live in U.S.A.


      You are a complete brain dead moron. Illegals DON’T pay taxes.. They CAN’T because they dont have social security numbers.

      People like you make me want to puke.

      • Michelle

        I asked my tax accountant about illegals and taxes and many of them do pay. They are issued a Tax Payer Identification number from the IRS. You can even GOOGLE it!

        However, our laws in regards to illegals need to change. Though many are hard working and pay taxes, many more drain our government resources that should be for legal residents.

  • hjhater

    I do not care if these students are sons of Jeasus Christ. They are illegal and should go back and make their legal home better. If I were in charge they would be deported within the hour.

  • Lisa

    This concept is ludicrous. This country can’t/won’t take care of its own citizens, and now wants to spend money on illegal immigrants. Seriously, this does one thing and one thing only… encourage continuous illegal behavior. I’m sorry, but if I were to do something illegal, there would be consequences. I don’t think the government in any form, should support illegals. Sure, it’s not the students fault. But if you want to give them money, make them go through the proper channels to become citizens first. And where is this money coming from? California is in a world of hurt, and I have lost thousands of dollars in income due to state mandated furloughs over the past few years. I’m a native of this state, I work very hard, and I’ve been cut because California can’t pay its bills. Now you want to take money we don’t have and give it to someone who does not legally belong here. That says a lot about the lack of integrity of our government. Try fixing things at home with those who deserve it first, then when you have sufficient excess, throw it where you want to. But state funds should never be authorized for non-citizens. These are my tax dollars and it is NOT okay! Our grandfathers would roll over in there graves, if they knew. Ugh.

  • The Blogger

    What an Insult…..

  • Sacramento Blog Uncut

    Hey, where is my free education? I am a US citizen. I work hard, pay taxes & watch people break the law & get free handouts.


    I don’t think so.

    Imagine sneeking into another country & expecting a free education.

    Yeah right?

    • michelle

      Yep. My kids got accepted to several colleges and is going to a JC because we cannot afford it right now.

  • Bob O'Dea

    This appears to be quite un-American and I believe that any of our state’s elected officials that voted for this bill should be prosecuted for TREASON.

  • Brett Donley

    California is going to hell in a hand basket and there is nothing we can do about it because the elected officials don’t listen to us. They pass bills based on they’re agenda and not what the people want. California has continually gone against its citizens so it just goes to show that there is no hope for this state. It doesn’t surprise me one bit that they want to give aid to illegals, hell they wanted to ban spanking. It is because cities like San Francisco and LA that these people keep getting elected and we are worse off for it but you know what? The young yuppy voters don’t get that so they continually get voted in office.

  • Greg Briggs

    And this is one of the many reasons why this country
    is starting to crumble!!!

  • nomobama

    The democrats have to spend taxpayer dollars to win the Hispanic vote………..

  • liberal hater

    Calderon is a leftover from the duece i dropped last nite

  • get real

    All i see is a bunch of racists and republican shills. “if I did something illegal”, “breaking the law” blah blah, like its some heinous crime to seek a better future for yourself. They didnt murder anyone or seek to destroy anything. Their human beings like you and me. Not any different then when our ancestors migrated here.

    • fenceamerica

      you need to get real, your whole argument of their intention is totally irrelevent. It wasnt my intention to drive over 3 people’s lawn kill 2 dogs and smash into a parked car while i was driving drunk…… but guess what i would be held responsible for it no matter what. These people come into our state and country and cause all kinds of financial havock and you have the balls to sit there and defend them? You are what is wrong with this nation. In case you didnt notice, CA is broke, our parks are closed, our schools are closing, tuition fees are going thru the roof and you want to spend MORE MONEY that WE DONT HAVE on people who do not deserve it.

      grow up please.

      • get real

        perfect example, some moron comparing illegal immigration to driving drunk and killing someones dogs. Dude you are a whacko. I never stated i’m for getting them free benefits. I’m just against people like you, treating other human beings like their criminals just because their seeking a better life.

    • Brett Donley

      You can come here to make a better life for yourself just do it legally! Whats so wrong with doing it the legal and right way?

      • get real

        Fact is their here, their not leaving and its pure ignorance to think that we can somehow bus them all out of the state. Its just not financially possible folks, it’s never going to happen. Better to get them a path to citizenship so they can start paying taxes like the rest of us.

    • Tom


  • MR G

    I think we should split the state if LA congressmen wants this let them have it but split the state first

  • WW

    But there is one thing they are not….legal citizens.

  • michelle

    Get real – they are breaking the law. If we did the opposite and went into Mexico we would be in a whole lotta trouble. Heck in any other country but the good ole USA. I invite anyone to come to this country for a better life. It is what this country stands for – we are the melting pot. But you should have to do it legally. There are laws that should be followed.

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