The state Assembly has passed a bill known as the “California Dream Act.” The bill would allow undocumented college students who qualify for in-state tuition to receive scholarships from private foundations. It would not include public aid.
The floor debate was long and heated. Republican Assemblyman Bill Berryhill questioned the proposal: “Are we not simply educating these kids so that they can go out and work in the underground workforce because they cannot legally be hired?”
Democratic Assemblyman Gil Cedillo wrote the bill and has offered similar measures for years. He refuted Berryhill’s argument, saying, “yes, you can’t hire them today but they should be prepared for when you can hire them and that’s what this bill does.”
Cedillo is pushing a second bill that would make illegal immigrant students eligible for public aid like Cal Grants. When he was campaigning last year, Governor Jerry Brown said he supported similar legislation.