The California Dream Act Online Petition

Higher Education is something that shouldn’t be limited only to those who can afford it, it should be available to those who seek it and want to improve their lives. As of Sunday August 31, The Governor has Senate Bill 1301, Institutional Financial Aid on his desk waiting to be signed or vetoed, again. Various organizations and groups have been working to get the medias and publics attention on the bill and its importance to undocumented college students. Now there is an online petition in support of the bill and getting the governor to sign it. There are students right now attending community colleges and universities paying in-state tuition fees. All this bill will do is help make life easier and help those students pay for their education. It doesn’t take away from the state budget or other college students either.

In an interview I had with Sonia Campos, assistant to assembly speaker Nunez, she said that funding for financial aid in colleges and universities is determined by the number of students graduating from high schools and enrolled in colleges and universities. The number of students, which includes undocumented students, will determine the amount of financial aid that will be awarded to students who qualify. Campos also said that not every student that is accounted for would qualify for financial aid, whether they’re AB 540, miss the deadline or incorrectly fill out the application. Money set aside for these counted individuals is left unused even though the money was set aside for non-eligible students. I encourage everyone to sign the petition to get the Governor to sign the bill. I have also included some info for readers who may not be in the loop of what an AB 540 student is and other related topics.

What is the California Dream Act?

The California Dream Act is a state legislative proposal that allows U.S. citizen and undocumented “AB 540” students to apply and compete for financial aid at California public colleges and universities without the use of the Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA).

What law will the California Dream Act specifically change?

Institutional Student Aid:  This bill would allow AB 540 students to apply and compete for institutional aid administered by the attending college or university (i.e. State University Grant, UC Grant, scholarships, work study, and loan programs)

What is the Problem?

California high school graduates who have been accepted to our premier public colleges and universities may not be recognized as state residents and may be ineligible for state financial aid.    According to the San Francisco Chronicle, there are over 25,000 undocumented students who graduate every year from high school.  These students confront a difficult challenge of financing their college education because they are ineligible for any federal grants or loans and are unable to legally work. “Many of these youngsters find themselves caught in a catch-22 situation. As [undocumented] immigrants, they cannot work legally. They are also effectively barred from developing academically beyond high school because of the high cost of pursuing higher education. In short, although these children have built their lives here, they have no possibility of achieving and living the American dream. What a tremendous loss for them, and what a tremendous loss to our society.” – Republican U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch author of earlier versions of the federal DREAM Act

What is an “AB 540” student?

“AB 540” students are those students who may qualify for in-state tuition at public colleges and universities in California (California Education Code §68130.5).  Regardless of immigration status, students may qualify for instate tuition at the UC, CSU, and CCC, if they meet ALL of the following requirements:

  1. Attend high school in California for three or more years;
  2. Graduate from a California high school or pass the GED; and
  3. If undocumented, file an affidavit with the college or university stating that they have applied for a lawful immigration status or will apply as soon as they are eligible to do so.

Does this mean an “AB 540” student would have to fill out a FAFSA?

An undocumented student should not file a FAFSA because it may affect their future application for legalization.  The California Dream Act would allow the state to fund its neediest students while they are awaiting their legalization process by creating procedures where AB 540 students can compete with their peers without the use of the FAFSA.


18 thoughts on “The California Dream Act Online Petition

  1. Thanks for this information. It’s very important that everyone person who lives here has access to whatever future that they want.

  2. I feel we’re all playing this silly game. IF you went to school here and you went to high school here and all of your family is here then YOU are a California resident.

    A Californian gets to pay less than someone from Rhode Island.

    A lack of choice leads to crime and jail is also a subsidized program would you rather these young people turn to a life of crime, because that would be the next step. That would be the next step for me if you wouldn’t allow me to have the type of life I wanted simply because of archaic rules that are way out of date.

    This kind of we shouldn’t subsidize or share or be tolerant leads to the creation of gangs and mafia and underground markets, because a kid that can get into UCLA or Stanford but isn’t allowed to go isn’t going to just bag groceries and be done with it. People who have the brains should always be given something to do for the protection of society.

    It’s not like kids in this situation have that good of odds anyways owing to the lovely piece of shit we have here for an education system, so if they do make it out of LAUSD alive and still wanting to learn why not give them the same opportunity to default on loans and waste their early 20s like everyone else.

    Everyone deserves a chance.

  3. Also according to a survey only 12% of Latinos have BAs (2005 census bureau). Now if we use that figure there are 25,000 undocumented students, that would translate into about 3000 kids. We are going to question 3,000 kids future? We are going to debate 3000 kids continuing their education? Just because they didn’t come out of their mom’s body on US soil? That seems ridiculous.

  4. El Viejo,

    In all fairness this is a public blog, if you want to have a personal coversation with El Random Hero he has a blog that connects to his email address. Any comment here is fair game for anyone who feels like picking up the ball. I know he is capable of answering the question. I was not answering for him I was talking to you and expressing my opinion on the matter that you presented.

    And I know where you are going with this, so lets stop this little game right now. Your fake politeness is rude.

    Now I wasn’t aware that Latino was a monolithic culture with one experience.

    Now from my perspective it seems like you are saying that Latinos who do not have documentation should just be happy and just go along with the program. Do you have your degree? I bet you do. I bet you went to college and I am insulted as a person of color who is a sister to all people econmically oppressed in this country and if anyone whether they be white, black, latino, asian, native american, bi-racial regardless of their documentation have a struggle and want my support; I am there dude, so don’t try to tell me or imply what I have a right (or don’t have a right) to comment on. I will comment on anything I like in any manner in which I like.

    People like me are giving people limited options? No my friend it is people like you. People like you who got their’s but don’t want anyone else to get their’s. It’s almost seem like some people of color want to keep other people of color poor, because there is alot of money to be made from poor people of color and more often than not it’s other people of color who are making money off of them.

    That’s what all the moral is all about. It’s about oppressing people. Law abiding, why should someone obey laws that don’t benefit them. Laws are just barriers to keep people out of the game. I’m no capitalist, but this is a capitalist country and no way I’m going to support keeping anyone who wants to play the game out of the game. In this country that game includes a college diploma or rich parents or rich friends. If you need a FAFSA the other two are going to be hard to come by, not impossible, but it will be hard, because the game is rigged.

    Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps is bs.

    Many of the middle class and upper-middle class black and brown communites get their status and cash off of the poor members of their respective communities.

    And my statement wasn’t just towards Latinos in regards to crime, but anyone. In America people who have limited options tend to go towards life of crime and crime doesn’t have to be just killing people, its the blackmarket world and the underground market and it’s got nothing to do with morality. Look in US history, look at who goes to jail, this isn’t something I’m pulling out my butt.

    Sorry for the long response, but I was highly offended by your comment.

  5. Random Hero,
    Thanks for this. I think it’s important to educate people about AB 540 students’ issues (and not ’cause it’s trendy).

    No, passage of the bill does not mean that an undocumented youth in CA pays less at a California public college or university than a student who is coming to a UC/CSU/CCC from another state. SB 1301 does not effect who qualifies as a resident for tuition purposes. On the other hand, AB 540 does affect this. El Random Hero explained AB 540 and who qualified as an AB 540 student above.

  6. @El Viejo

    I guess you don’t want to answer my “did you go to college” question, I’ll assume you did. If this is the case why do you seem for oppressing people?

    I told you the answer to your question California residents will pay in state fees, non California resident will not. If you didn’t live in this state for I think it’s two years before applying to school then you pay out of state fees.

    Someone from Rhode Island can go to their state college and pay in-state fees or they can move here estabish residency and in two years (or whatever the specifie time) can also pay in-state fees.

    What didn’t you understand about that answer?

    My question to you is do you think this is unfair or something?

  7. “Do I find this state legislative proposal offensive? You bet your sweet butt.” El Viejo

    So now we have the truth instead of this bs question nonsense. Now the people here can have a discouse with you if they choose. Why didn’t you just say that straight up? Yeah you want to play like you are tolerant…

    Well if you find the term people of color offensive then uh, too freakin bad. I am a bi-cultural person. I try to include as many demographics as I can in my speech and if you are a white person and you would like to be politically a person of color, then awesome.

    I’m not for exclusion like you are.

    I get you. You want the races divided, you want the classes divided, you want the American born put in a different category as as people who were not American born. You probably want women at home cooking for you too. Are you anti gay marriage too?

    But hey what I know I’m on medication according to you…

    When I am offended I don’t cry, oh are you crying right now? Was I rude to you. Oh my gosh I’m totally sorry.

    Here’s a tissue. Blow nice and hard.

  8. El Viejo,
    You might want to just come straight out and make your statement instead of posing roundabout questions, que no?

    Your “medication” remark certainly falls within the ad hominem category; might want to watch which stones you throw.

  9. Yer kidding me right?

    Make your statement or look that info up on your own, we ain’t your fucking on-call librarians. Instead of going “back to the beginning” why don’t you just get straight to the end?

    Here’s my uninformed accusation: you’re a pointless pontificator.

  10. No. The California Dream Act Will do no such thing. AB 540 students have to meet a specific criteria in order to qualify for in-state tuition at any institute of higher learning. Nothing is being changed other than the fact that AB 540 students will be able to have access to scholarships, work study programs and loans just like every other college student. It’s not taking away any money from college students who are citizens because that money is already there. AB 540 students are no different than any other college student working his way through school. The only major difference is that AB 540 students aren’t legal U.S. residents so they have to do everything the hard way while still supporting their families. I have talked to numerous AB 540 students who feel like quitting because they know the world is against them. They work hard for everything they have have and even if they do manage to finish school, then what ? Those degrees are useless if a person can’t legally work in the U.S. AB 540 students are making the best of their situation because they were brought to this country as luggage by their parents. This is the only home they have ever known and they are not wanted here. You wrote that there are going to be a lot off pissed of gringos because of this legislation and in that you are right.
    AB 540 students have much to contribute back to their communities and back to their adoptive country. Things will change for the better once people realize that.

  11. People have to be fuckin idiots to think that the random possibility that some citizen from Rhode Island having to pay higher fees than an undocumented citizen (which is not true, as answered by El Random Hero) is basis to deny thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of students the ability to complete higher education is acceptable and rational. Theoretical bullshit aside (the tired old, “its unfair to us citizens” crap), you are calling for a large number of otherwise productive citizens to be steered towards a life of much less promise and lot less movement in the direction of self improvement. How anyone can advocate the reduction of a process that helps garner productive wealthy citizens coming from communities that contain multiple problems related to poverty is illogical and beyond me. From a very pragmatic viewpoint, it helps push people from the barrio into positive movement, people who come from communities where such positive movement is much less prevalent. Why on earth you would want to hinder this positive movement, on the basis of some theoretical “what if” is beyond me, and beyond stupid. Funny thing is most of these “that is unfair to legal citizens” people are also bitching about how much problems from communities with high ratios of illegal folks exist, but then they support denying these people a tool to become upwardly mobile. On top of that is the social issue that is arising and will worsen as less illegal kids are allowed to move upward, meaning more will engage in illicit activities (as history as shown), meaning that a lot of bad will occur in society as more people fester in poverty. And I guess that is what people like el viejo and the minutemen want, further degredation of society because of their support of illogical policies based on some absolute dogmatic theoreticism, so then they can go bitch about “them illegals” rather than the policy that wreaked this havoc to begin with (a la US Latin American history and the ignorant fools who whine about them being here to begin with but ignoring the material wealth they enjoy generated by the pillaging of the Americas).

    So El viejo, you and other close minded folks can whine all they want about people on the Eastside site being so judgemental and closeminded ourselves for not aggreeing with your idiotic dribel. Of course you are anetitled to your opinion, and I am entitled to call it a stupid opinion. And my laying out why I think it dumb should be sufficient enough to stop your crying about it later.

  12. The student from Rhode Island or any of the other 48 states can move to California, set up residence for a year and then they can pay in state tuition.

  13. El Viejo, did you skip my last paragraph? I find it quite ironic for someone who has diagnosed me with a “victim” mentality, to then go and whine about it so much and play up the victimized card. Quit yer complainin, if you dish it out then you should be able to handle it. I dont agree with your opinion, which I feel is malicious and ignorant, and have laid out the facts as to why I feel this way. If you want to wipe away the tears and debate it like an adult then do so, but spare us the violin when you just talked an equal amount of masa about other people.

    And i am so sick of that “Latinos like to play the victim” card many people use to stereotype others rather than address the content of their statements. Of course many folks, raza or not, play the overvictimized card all the time; but it is not appropriate and a pathetic copout when someone lays out historical fact and never uses the victimization ticket and is still attacked as overlyvictimized. I never called any brown person a victim, I merely (and correctly) noted historical context playing a part in illegal migration and the shitty situation in much of Latin america; it is a fact that presented in a “it is what it is” fashion. You are the one turning it into a “youre playing the victim” copout to dodge a debate and save face.

    I will tolerate your opinion fine, but I do have the freedom to disagree with it (and explain why as I have), you are the one bitching about it now like a sore loser.

    So do me a favor and respond to my comments as to why i think your opinion is stupid (or ignorant to be nice) instead of playing the victim about it while calling me overly victimized.

  14. if it walks like a troll…

    talks like a troll…



    (Pssst: This creature is a classic troll. Spread the word! Stop wasting time and energy on it. It is a disingenuous, insincere, vulgar, and ugly little creature that has a peepee about the size of your pinkie nail–that is the level of discourse that this creature engages in, only dressed up in faux-polite “academic” drag. The master “debator” is really just a MASTURBATOR with a big thesaurus and a little tiny one between index finger and thumb worn down to an even tinier nub by all the fake intellectual wanking.)

  15. Thanks for the heads up trolli, troll de jour does seem like the soup of the day. Why this city so full of haters?

  16. I struggled financially through UC so I can empathize with this. I also think it is a waste to turn anyone intelligent and hard-working away from education. However, I applied for Cal Grant every semester, qualified for it, and NEVER received it because I did not win the final lottery selection process. It is a little hard to accept adding people to the pool of students competing for limited funds when California-born-and-raised citizens get denied access to those funds.

    Would the Mexican government do this for Central Americans living in Mexico without having gone through the legal immigration process?

    I work in Nicaragua and know how difficult Mexico makes it for them to go to Mexico. Mexico does not allow even legal immigrants to hold any public office (including school board) or hold any public service jobs such as fire fighter or police.

  17. Oaklander,

    While I empathize with your former position we can’t compare what is ok in Mexico in regards to what is ok here. We can’t go “it’s ok to discriminate against person c, because the place that their ancestors where from did it.”

    This is America. We’re a land of immigrants (and taken by force people). Why should people who this country invited to come here for years (look into the Bracero program) be denied what every other immigrant has gotten?

    These kids are Americans. These kids were raised here.

    If you want to be annoyed at the lack of money for Cal Grant’s get angry with the government for bailing out AIG and all of the other fat cats that during the good times made oodles of money and now want us the people to pay for it.

    There is always going to be someone who is going to fight for crumbs down on the ground with you. What we need to do is stop fighting for crumbs and go after that big piece of cake right up there, but of course that could end very violently, so maybe not, but we can’t forget it’s just a damn crumb.

    In hard economic times it’s very easy to point to the guy sitting next to you, but the guys sitting next to you in the trenches are the same as you. The people we should be blaming for the lack of funding in education are the people with money who think a war in the Middle East is a good idea. The finance companies that have ruined our economy. The list of the people doing the real damage and preventing the regular working man and working woman and taking away our opportunities is 99.9% rich Americans and their rich friends from other countries.

    The kid that wants to go to college is doing very little to impact your life and if that kid goes away, if all of the people who are poor go away, I promise you your life will not get better, but do not worry that won’t happen because the very rich in this country need a diversion. They need little people around for us to blame so that they can continue to get away with doing the big stuff that truly does destroy our quality of life.


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