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California Assembly passes Cedillo's "full student aid for illegal aliens" bill

California already gives illegal aliens the same in-state tuition discounts that U.S. citizens who are residents of California receive. Now, the state Assembly has passed a bill that goes a step further and gives illegal aliens the same rights to financial aid as citizens.

The bill is SB 160 (the "California Dream Act") and was authored by state senator Gil Cedillo with the assistance of Gloria Romero. It now goes to the Senate for their stamp of approval.

From this:

Students who came to the country illegally could apply for state financial aid when they attend California colleges and universities under legislation approved Tuesday by the Assembly in a party-line vote... Supporters said immigrant children who have graduated and completed at least three years of high school in California should not be penalized for their parents' decision to bring them to the U.S. illegally.

This explanation is just for the "liberals" out there: When allocating limited resources, someone's always going to get "penalized". There is only a limited amount of such financial aid, and there will always be more applicants for that aid than there is aid money.

So, to put it another way, those supporters think we should give some of those benefits to foreign citizens even if U.S. citizens are "penalized", and the opponents think we should reserve those benefits for U.S. citizens. If we don't do that, aren't we continuing down the dangerous slope of devaluing U.S. citizenship? Those who've supported this bill don't just represent U.S. citizens, they also represent citizens of Mexico. Everyone in the state would be better off if they would renounce their U.S. citizenships and run for office in Mexico.

From the current version of the bill:

This bill would enact the California Dream Act, which would require the Trustees of the California State University and the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, and would request the Regents of the University of California, to establish procedures and forms that enable persons who are exempt from paying nonresident tuition under the provision described above, or who meet equivalent requirements adopted by the regents, to apply for, and participate in, all student aid programs administered by these segments to the full extent permitted by federal law. This provision would apply to the University of California only if the regents, by appropriate resolution, act to make it applicable.

Regarding one bit of federal law, there's this:

A district shall waive the fees of a person who is exempt from paying nonresident tuition under Section 68130.5, and who otherwise qualifies for a waiver under this section, under regulations and procedures adopted by the board of governors. The Legislature finds and declares that this subdivision is a state law within the meaning of subsection (d) of Section 1621 of Title 8 of the United States Code.

Subsection (d) of Section 1621 of Title 8 says this:

A State may provide that an alien who is not lawfully present in the United States is eligible for any State or local public benefit for which such alien would otherwise be ineligible under subsection (a) of this section only through the enactment of a State law after August 22, 1996, which affirmatively provides for such eligibility.

Now, let's look at 1623 (also covered here):

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an alien who is not lawfully present in the United States shall not be eligible on the basis of residence within a State (or a political subdivision) for any postsecondary education benefit unless a citizen or national of the United States is eligible for such a benefit (in no less an amount, duration, and scope) without regard to whether the citizen or national is such a resident.

One way to take that is that the current in-state tuition scheme has to be offered to every U.S. citizen no matter where they live or else California is violating federal law. In that case the new financial aid scheme just furthers that violation. I'll leave it to someone else to look into whether they think they're taking advantage of a loophole.

Previously: Gil Cedillo/SB 160: free community college for illegal aliens

Immigration · Wed, 08/30/2006 - 03:18 · Importance: 1

Sat, 09/09/2006 - 07:40
Won C Hwang

Y Munoz, illegals are illegals anyway. You should remember that we Americans have no obligation to grant citizenship to those who are born from people that break immigration laws. Our California has been destroyed by politicians who are owned by multinational corprorations that need you for cheap labor.

Thu, 09/07/2006 - 16:14
Y Munoz

AB 540 is a law that permits anybody who has been in a California High School for three years or more and graduated to pay in-state-tuition. And this bill is not just for AB 540 students who are illegal I am a U.S. citizen and I am being deny a Cal Grant basically because my parents are undocumented. That is absurd. People need to realize that this bill is mostly helping U.S. citizens, since 2/3 of the AB 540 students are U.S. citizens.

Wed, 08/30/2006 - 11:26
Fred Dawes

HEY, D Flinchum, "we have no laws", and the federal government is owned by others who hate our freedom.
do you know how much money was handed out to people that have come here in the last 3 years from iraq? check it out? over 5 billion in handed outs to buy homes and business and name it!
the third world students see away to get more money from fools who just stand around and say nothing about this kind of shit. and how can you have a violation of laws when you have no laws?

Wed, 08/30/2006 - 06:11
D Flinchum

This bill violates federal law passed in 1996 that specifically forbids granting in-state tuition to illegal immigrants while denying it to students from other states. Even if congress reverses itself on this, out-of-state students can still sue for the lower rates during the time CA was in violation.