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First half of CA DREAM Act Passes State Senate

Last Thursday, the California legislature passed the first part of the California Dream Act, AB130, which would allow undocumented immigrant youth who qualify for in-state tuition to also be eligible for non-state funded scholarships such as institutional financial aid or private scholarships. The bill now heads to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for his expected approval. The bill, which has passed the California state legislature in the past, was vetoed three times by former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The second part of the California Dream Act, AB 131, which would allow undocumented students to apply for California State-funded scholarships such as California Pell Grants and Cal Grants passed the Assembly earlier this year but it has not been moved beyond to the committee stage.

The CA Dream Act holds tremendous importance as it will give up to 26,000 students, approximately 40% of the country’s total undocumented youth, access to financial aid. This reflects a growing focus on state-wide strategies to support undocumented youth. If both bills get passed, California will join only two other states, Texas and New Mexico, in providing financial aid to undocumented students.


Photo credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press
In cap and gown, Maria Luna, 21, a 2010 graduate of California State University, Sacramento, and other spectators look on Thursday as the state Senate passes Assembly Bill 130, which seeks to allow some undocumented immigrants to apply for privately funded scholarships.


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