California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law Sunday the state’s DREAM Act, which would allow illegal immigrants to gain access to financial aid for college, while at the same time rejecting the bill allowing schools to reintroduce affirmative action.
High-achieving students who are accepted to any of the state’s universities — including the University of California and the California State University system — can earn CalGrants in 2013. They will also be allowed to take assistance from private financial institutions.
“The DREAM Act benefits us all by giving top students a chance to improve their lives and the lives of all of us,” Brown said in a statement.
In addition, students with illegal status must qualify for aid by graduating from a California high school after at least three years in the state, and demonstrate they have initiated the process toward legalization.
Some, such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform, have expressed concern about the funding for the DREAM Act. CalGrants is a publically funded program that taxpayers support.
“We have just created a new entitlement that is going to cause tens of thousands of people to come here illegally from all over the world,” Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-San Bernardino) told the Los Angeles Times.
The affirmative action bill Brown vetoed would have allowed the state and state colleges to consider race and gender in college applications to increase diversity.
The bill had prompted several protests across the state, including the now infamous UC Berkeley College Republicans’ “Diversity Bake Sale.” Students at the bake sale had sold goods that were priced based on the race of the purchaser.