www.bilingualweekly.com By Mayra Barrios (bw original) June 21, 2011
SACRAMENTO, ca —
The second part of the “California Dream Act,” Assembly Bill (AB) 131 which would allow undocumented students access to financial aid, for higher education, was approved with a 7 to 2 vote — on Tuesday June 21, 2011 in the Senate Education Committee.
“These students have the right to an education; they have embraced our values and culture,” said Assembly member Gilbert Cedillo (D-Los Angeles) sponsored of the bill.
The California Dream Act consists of two bills, AB 130 and AB 131; if this legislation is approved it will change the status quo and amend the existing law, which does not allow undocumented college students to receive government assistance.
During the hearing Robert J. Birgeneau, Chancellor of University of California, Berkeley and Maria Luna, a recent Sacramento State graduate, testified in support of the A.B 131. “My status is not permanent, opponents are not permanent, but education is,” said Luna.
The Stockton Based Council for the Spanish Speaking (El Concilio) joined the California Federation of Teachers, La Raza Law Students Association, the Mexican-American Legal Defense & Education Fund (MALDEF) and other organizations supporting the bill during the June 21st hearing.
The Center for Investigative Reporting, California Watch published on June 17th that undocumented students make up only about 1 percent of the total student body at the California State University, the University of California and the California Community Colleges.
As these two bills move forward on the legislative process they will head to the Senate Appropriations Committee a hearing which needs to be set.
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