California Dream Act

This past weekend Governor Brown signed the Dream Act into law. The law has two parts, the first of which passed in July and allowed the undocumented students to receive private scholarships, and the second of which passed this Saturday, allowing them to receive state financial aid for public schools (1). The Dream Act in California is different from the federal version in that it doesn’t have a program set up to eventually grant citizenship to the student. It’s basically the same law without the amnesty. The benefits of this law passing have already been stated: everyone deserves a fair chance, it wasn’t their fault their parents came into the country illegally, and they should have the opportunity to pursue their dreams. But in a state that has so many issues with its public schools, from the budget to the oversized classes, one should wonder if passing this law was the right choice. Classes, with legal citizens alone, already fill up so quickly that its now becoming common practice for students to spend five or six years getting their four year degree. An extra 2,500 students (the number of undocumented students thought to be helped by this Act) is going to strain an already failing system. And this goes for the budget as well. Tuition is being raised and programs are being cut. We can’t afford maintaining the schools as they are now, how can we possibly do it with all these extra students? Before we start to include hard working illegal students in our public schools, before we start trying to be “fair” to them, we need to be fair to our hardworking American students, whose tuition is being raised, who have to spend an unnecessary amount of extra time in school because the class they need to graduate is too full. While it is true that the students affected by the Dream Act would only receive $14.5 million out of a $1.4 billion budget (2), that’s money that could help a student out there struggling currently. Colleges are there to help us reach the American Dream. Let’s give Americans a chance to reach it before we give their opportunities away to citizens of a different country.

1 http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/227644/20111008/california-dream-act-passed-for-illegal-immigrant-students-college-governor-jerry-brown-cal-grants.htm
2 http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/10/09/california-passes-dream-act-allowing-aid-for-undocumented-students/

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Rick Perry and Immigration

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/28/rick-perry-immigration_n_984854.html

This is an interesting article about Rick Perry and his stance on immigration.

He has been criticized by fellow Republican candidates for implementing a law in 2001 that allowed undocumented immigrants to enroll in public Texas universities and receive in-state tuition if they met certain requirements (similar to those of the federal DREAM Act).

He continues to support his decision which may resonate well with Hispanic voters, however he says he won’t support a federal DREAM Act and claims that America must secure its borders before we tackle the immigration issue.

The Hispanic vote is going to be a key constituency in the upcoming election and I think it would be to Rick Perry’s benefit to embrace his 2001 law, for that would garner him support in the Hispanic community and among Independents.

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