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Latino Daily News

Tuesday July 26, 2011

California Gov. Brown Signs Half of State’s DREAM Act, Advocates Say It’s Good, but Not Enough

California Gov. Brown Signs Half of State’s DREAM Act, Advocates Say It’s Good, but Not Enough

Photo: Gov. Brown signed half of the California DREAM Act Monday

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Monday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed California’s Assembly Bill 130, which increased access to college financial aid for undocumented students.

AB 130 is only the first part of a legislative package known as the California DREAM Act, and allows undocumented students to apply for private scholarships. The second part is AB 131, which would give undocumented students the same access to public financial aid options as citizens and legal residents.

Though DREAM Act advocates were glad to see AB 130 signed, they made it clear that they are still only half way there since AB 131 has yet to make it to the Senate floor for a vote, with signs stating, “The glass is still half empty. Free AB 131 to fill it up!”

Yesterday, President Obama once again shared his commitment to a national version of the DREAM Act at the annual National Council of La Raza Conference (NCLR).

“I promised you I would fix our broken immigration system and make the DREAM Act a reality,” he said.

He added that during his trip to El Paso two months ago he reaffirmed his support for the education/immigration legislation.

“I went down to the border of El Paso to reiterate…my vision for an immigration system that holds true to our values and our heritage, and meets our economic and security needs.”

He went on to say, “As long as I am President, this country will always invest in its young people.”

The national DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act would grant conditional legal status to qualifying undocumented youths brought here before age 16 if they go to college or enlist in the military.

However, the California DREAM Act, of which Gov. Brown signed half of Monday, does not proposes legalization, which is why advocates remain vigilant in their fight for a federal DREAM Act.