Credit: Courtesy of Barbara Kinney, Foothill College
Community college is a good investment for the state and students, according to a new report. Credit: Barbara Kinney, Foothill College

California leaders took another step to support “Dreamers” on Tuesday by pledging $30 million for legal services and financial aid to help undocumented young people threatened with deportation by the Trump administration.

Gov. Jerry Brown, State Sen. President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) agreed to spend an additional $20 million on immigration legal services and $10 million on college financial aid for young people in California protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

“We will not let one man with xenophobic tendencies undercut years of progress we have made in California to integrate these young adults into our society and economy,” de León said. “California is their home and they are our future.”

The money is part of two identical bills introduced Tuesday in the Assembly and Senate. The governor has until Friday, when the legislative session ends, to sign one of them.

The last-minute bills are in response to President Trump’s decision last week to end DACA, an Obama-era program that offered temporary legal protections for young people brought to the U.S. illegally as children. DACA status, which was renewable every two years, entitled young people to live and work legally in the U.S.

More than 200,000 of the country’s 800,000 DACA recipients live in California  the largest group in the country. The state’s public colleges and universities don’t track students’ immigration status, but officials estimate that many of the 72,300 undocumented students enrolled in the University of California, California State University and community college system are DACA recipients.

UC, the State of California and several other states have sued the Trump administration to save the DACA program, saying it plays an important role in the economic and social stability of the country. Trump is pressuring Congress to create broader immigration reform, but meanwhile the Department of Homeland Security has stopped accepting new DACA applications and the program will begin winding down by March 5.

The state’s pledge of $20 million for immigration legal services will funnel through One California, a state program that funds non-profit immigrant legal centers across the state. The state already spends $40-45 million annually on One California.

The $10 million financial aid package will go to the state’s Dream Loan program for undocumented students at UC and CSU, and the emergency loan program for community college students. One million will go to UC students, $2 million will go to CSU students and $7 million to community college students.

UC officials said they were grateful for the additional funding.

“(Dreamers) embody the American Dream and represent the best of our country,” UC said in a statement. “The University is thankful and confident that this additional state funding will help our Dreamers achieve their ambitious educational goals.”

At CSU, Chancellor Timothy White was in Washington, D.C. this week to discuss DACA with federal lawmakers.

“The California State University is appreciative of the work of the governor and legislative leaders to provide additional support to those who will be adversely impacted by the recent rescission of DACA,” said system spokeswoman Toni Molle. “We will continue to work with our federal leaders on long-term solutions that will benefit our students and employees.”

 

 

 

 

 

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  1. Evelyn F. 2 days ago2 days ago

    We have so many problems with legally residing people, why do we continue to provide money for non-residents? I’m tired of our hard earned taxes paying for others while not taking care of our own. Veterans suffering from PTSD and homelessness as well as seniors should come first. Now we have to deal with the devastation of people who have lost everything to fires. We need to care for our own. No more free lunch.

  2. Manuel Dias 6 months ago6 months ago

    I think this is so wrong. What part of illegal don’t liberals understand? If this is the case, then California students with students loans should not pay them back.

  3. Another deplorable 7 months ago7 months ago

    I agree with several of you who are upset that illegals who have broken our laws are provided so many benefits with our tax dollars! My grandson struggles to pay his college tuition while illegal students get their tuition free! This is not fair to Americans and I and my family are fed up with it! The Democrats are doing this to get the Hispanic vote and for no other reason. That's … Read More

    I agree with several of you who are upset that illegals who have broken our laws are provided so many benefits with our tax dollars! My grandson struggles to pay his college tuition while illegal students get their tuition free! This is not fair to Americans and I and my family are fed up with it! The Democrats are doing this to get the Hispanic vote and for no other reason. That’s why they don’t want voter ID! No wonder so many people are leaving this state! The state is almost bankrupt and this is why! The state is running out of tax payer’s money. So glad Jerry Brown can’t serve another term!! He has run this state into the ground! Let’s get a Republican in there!!

  4. Javier 1 year ago1 year ago

    Throughout its history, California has generally been a kind and generous place. That's good and one reason so many come here. But too much - way too much - of a good thing can quickly turn a positive into a negative. As my kids and I struggle with the staggeringly high costs of housing, transportation and education in California, it makes me wonder how the Legislature can arbitrarily take our … Read More

    Throughout its history, California has generally been a kind and generous place. That’s good and one reason so many come here. But too much – way too much – of a good thing can quickly turn a positive into a negative. As my kids and I struggle with the staggeringly high costs of housing, transportation and education in California, it makes me wonder how the Legislature can arbitrarily take our hard-earned, precious and limited resources and flippantly transfer them to those who, technically, are not here legally.

    Please understand that so, so many of us have absolutely nothing against any of these fine young people for sure, but why is it that, by law, my son and daughter (also fine young people) can never qualify for tuition subsidies as a ‘Dreamer’ can? Do they not have dreams? You bet they do, and I can’t tell you how absolutely horrible it is as I sit here helpless, knowing that the college education I took for granted is now 100% out of reach for them. Are my California-born, non-Dreamer kids now second class citizens? Yes, apparently they are.

    It’s just so incredibly crazy – in what universe to we repeatedly put the interests of others over people born and raised here or of those who go through the years-long process of (legal) immigration? This is wrong and absolutely unfair, plain and simple. It also sows deep resentment that is compounded when complaining about this clear injustice risks making you a target for being called a racist, xenophobe, etc., etc. And to everyone’s complete surprise, those justifiable, festering frustrations end up whacking us over the head in Presidential elections when dangerous reactionaries get into office. Wow! Did anyone get the license number of the bus that just ran over us?!

    Equality, by definition, cannot and should not be achieved at the expense of others, and my worry is that we’ve got more reactive elections in store for us in the future if we keep on this hyper-politically correct track. Fair is fair . . . and this ain’t anything close to fair.

    Replies

    • Pedro 10 months ago10 months ago

      I honestly do not understand your self proclaimed justifiable frustrations. These Dreamers are not seeking luxuries, they are seeking financial assistance for $120 city college courses, funds that their neighbors whom they grew up with take for granted, and even waste: $4,000 to $5,000 a year in tuition assistance (UC & CSU). And if that is out of reach for your children, then it means your financial reports are a mess. There is abundant financial … Read More

      I honestly do not understand your self proclaimed justifiable frustrations. These Dreamers are not seeking luxuries, they are seeking financial assistance for $120 city college courses, funds that their neighbors whom they grew up with take for granted, and even waste: $4,000 to $5,000 a year in tuition assistance (UC & CSU). And if that is out of reach for your children, then it means your financial reports are a mess. There is abundant financial support for lower-class through middle-class students in need, who are technically here legally. Not to mention scholarships that are not available for Dreamers. Yet, somehow, you have an ardent disgust with a few million dollars appropriated from tax dollars these students and their families contribute to.
      I bet you have never expressed a fraction of this disgust for the billions of dollars appropriated in corporate subsidies, or real foreign aid. But the local youth in search of higher education is somehow “so incredibly crazy”? The reason elected officials pushed this through is because it is the fair thing to do, and in the words of ex-president Obama, it is the “right” thing to do.
      California is a flourishing society with a powerhouse education system progressing towards free higher education, that accepts foreigners worldwide, and if they facilitate admission for foreigners in Wyoming, Montana or Eelaware, why wouldn’t they facilitate it for locals who have lived and worked down the street from their campuses their whole lives. What you call giveaways, are entitlements, and you or any politician in the nation have no right to take that away.

  5. Fed Up 1 year ago1 year ago

    We can't afford to fix our infrastructure, but we can afford this? How is it, that someone that is born in this country doesn't get this type of benefit? But someone that is here illegally does get the benefit? It doesn't matter when they got here; illegal is illegal, and I don't CARE what country you are from! Where is the state going to get the money to pay for this? We are already bankrupt! … Read More

    We can’t afford to fix our infrastructure, but we can afford this? How is it, that someone that is born in this country doesn’t get this type of benefit? But someone that is here illegally does get the benefit? It doesn’t matter when they got here; illegal is illegal, and I don’t CARE what country you are from!
    Where is the state going to get the money to pay for this? We are already bankrupt! Why not spend a little more, after all, it’s only $30 million!

  6. AMorgan 1 year ago1 year ago

    So I pay higher taxes and higher tuition so people who are here illegally can attend college for less. This shows everyone that people who enter the country and people who are citizens are of no use to the state of California except to pay higher taxes and fees so that those who are breaking the law by being here can get more. Why should I work to support lawbreakers?

  7. The Deplorable Miss B 1 year ago1 year ago

    Hey folks, remember this the next time you get a ransom note from your kids’ teacher demanding money for supplies, activities, etc. Your tax dollars are not going to help your kids, American kids. Your tax dollars are going to help illegal kids get a better education and better opportunities than your kid. The swamp in California needs to be drained dry, starting with the Dept. of Education.