LOS ANGELES (CBS / AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed a bill that will let students who entered the country illegally receive private financial aid at California’s public colleges, even as debate continues over a more contentious bill that would allow access to public funding.

The Democratic governor signed AB130 at Los Angeles City College. It is the first of a two-bill package referred to as the California Dream Act, which is aimed at getting financial aid for college students who entered the country illegally.

KCBS’ Mark Seelig Reports:

“It’s crucial that we invest in every child that lives and is born in this state. Signing this Dream Act is another piece of investment in people because people drives the culture, the economy,” Brown told a crowd of about 100 students and community leaders who gathered inside the city college’s library. “This is another piece of a very important mosaic which is a California that works for everyone.”

The governor did not address the second bill in the package, which is more contentious because it would allow illegal immigrants to receive state-funded scholarships and financial aid. That bill, AB131, is in the state Senate.

The legislative package authored by state Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, differs from the federal Dream Act, which would include a path to citizenship for those bought to the country illegally as children.

Critics of the package say granting public or private financial aid to illegal immigrants will force citizens and students who are here legally to compete with them for limited resources. Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, said California’s public colleges and universities have already had to raise tuition fees in the face of recent budget cuts.

“Bottom line is California doesn’t have enough money to take care of its obligations to its citizens right now,” Donnelly said. “The people, who if they’re lucky enough to have jobs, certainly would like those limited resources to go to their children or grandchildren. They certainly wouldn’t want that to go to people who come here illegally.”

Cedillo said he admired the students without legal status because of the obstacles they have had to overcome. He said allowing students to qualify for private scholarships and financial aid is one step that will help them get through college.

“Public education in this great state and this great country is a great equalizer of society,” he said.

California’s community college and public universities systems support the bill, noting that it affects less than 1 percent of their student population. According to the University of California, fewer than 80 students across its system of more than 220,000 students would be affected by the bill signed Monday.

The California State University estimated that some of the 3,600 students who have permission to pay in-state tuition rates even though they lack legal documentation could be affected by the new law. The CSU system enrolls about 440,000 students.

At least one student who stands to benefit from the California Dream Act said an education will improve his perspective and quality of life even if he’ll still have trouble finding work out of college. Rigoberto Barboza, a 21-year-old from Mexico who studies sociology at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut (Los Angeles County,) said the new law could help him take more courses and finish sooner.

“Education is the only way to free from oppression—this oppression we illegals live with,” he said. “Education allows me to see which laws affect us and how.”

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (17)
  1. Milan Moravec says:

    University of California (UC) tuition, fee increases are an insult. Californians face mortgage defaults, 12% unemployment, pay reductions, loss of unemployment benefits. No layoff or wage reductions for UC Chancellors, Vice Chancellors, Faculty during greatest recession of modern times.
    There is no good reason to raise tuition, fees when wage concessions are available. UC wages must reflect California’s ability to pay, not what others are paid. If wages better elsewhere, chancellors, vice chancellors, tenured, non tenured faculty, UCOP apply for the positions. If wages determine commitment to UC Berkeley, leave for better paying position. The sky above the 10 campuses will not fall.
    Pitch in for all Democrats, Republicans UC
    No furloughs. UCOP 18% reduction salaries & $50 million cut.
    Chancellors’ Vice-Chancellors’, 18% cut. Tenured faculty 15% trim.
    Non-Tenured, 10% reduction. Academic Senate, Council remove 100% costs salaries.
    It is especially galling to continue to generously compensate chancellors, vice-chancellors, faculty while Californians are making financial sacrifices and faculty, chancellor, vice-chancellor turnover is one of the lowest of public universities.
    The message that President Yudof, UC Board of Regent Chair Lansing, UC Berkeley Birgeneau are sending is that they have more concern for generously paid chancellors, faculty. The few at the top need to get a grip on economic reality and fairness.
    The California Legislature needs a Bill to oversee higher education salaries, tuition.

  2. genomega1 says:

    “this oppression we illegals live with” what an attitude.

  3. fedup!!! says:

    What more can you expect from CA. We’re so green we recycle Sh&^ty governors.

    1. Meg says:

      I couldn’t have said it better

      1. Pogos says:

        me is ilegal and i like hary brown. yayayayayyay free money for me.

  4. motu101010 says:

    Private funding that COULD go to people like me, middle class people who are born here and could really use the financial aid…funding illegals so they can get away from “this oppression” is bs. @genomega1, ya exactly, what an attitude…entitled much?

  5. Jose says:

    What a stupid thing to do!!!! The state is broke, services are cut to legal citizens and this moron along with his trolls gives money to illegals. Brain dead magots!

  6. Lombardy says:

    Jerry Brown what an Idiot.! Obama and Brown are such poor managers of money. They couldn’t run a pizza Joint. These people take stupid spending to a whole new level. Spending yet even more money we don’t have.

  7. NRA Life Member says:

    Yeah, yeah. And how many of you people voted for him? I sure as hell didn’t.

  8. Lombardy says:

    There are a lot of idiots and Maggots in California they tend to run in colonies in citys voting stupid acting stupid and breeding more stupid people. These Brown voters are all part of the problem. They could all benefit by taking a simple home economics class 101 LOL How to budget your income and Live within your wage. It is so easy to spend other peoples Money.They want to cut social security to our seniors who have worked hard all there life and have paid money into the system and give that money to people that are not Americans. Brown Your Fired Obama your Fired Liberal Democrats and Liberal Republicans Your Fired.

  9. Dr Veruju says:

    We should only provide the basic humanitarian assistance to these people, not rolling out the red carpet.
    These people have whole foreign governments who are responsible for them, they need to seek redress for their grievances there.
    US citizen’s birthrights are gradually being reduced to nothing courtesy of fifth columnists like Cedillo and Brown.

  10. DWomack says:

    I’m in shock but then I wonder why. Electing Brown California,,,,,REALLY??? Let’s just take all of our laws and throw them in the abyss and become a thirld world country and call it a day.

  11. star says:


  12. Pogos says:

    I no understand why you peple complaint. why you no think me deserv educated.

  13. Hunter says:

    California got exactly who they wanted. What is wrong with you guys? I moved away 6 years ago after living there all my life. I cannot believe they voted for someone who didn’t do anything for the state he first time around. Gee.,.. I wonder why I moved. CA has totally given up on ever having a decent state again. Run people…run!

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