The second part of the California Dream Act has shimmied past the state legislature and now awaits Governor Jerry Brown’s promised stamp of approval. Though the law is long overdue, not everyone is a fan.
While there will be no name-dropping, there are certain sects of society that think of the Dream Act as the green light for undocumented citizens to seek alternative means of access into the country.
“Job thievery” is often the shrill conclusion of the argument.
In 2010, Arizona State University and University of Delaware witnessed a respective 24 percent and 36 percent increase in California applicants.
It’s not a kiss of death for California yet; however, many people who are trained in one place often form invaluable job connections and don’t venture back to their hometowns.
The Dream Act can be part of the stopper that will keep our engineers, teachers and everyone else who can do something, here to stop the leak in our workforce.
In this way, the Dream Act is a dream come true for undocumented students, as well as California.
Unlike the federal act of the same name which strove to grant undocumented students legal status through college education, the California Dream Act would only grant financial aid eligibility to undocumented students who have completed three years of high school.
In July, AB 130, the first part of the Dream bill that granted undocumented students eligibility for privately-funded financial aid, passed into law, where it now waits for its paper sister AB 131, the bill that would grant eligibility for public aid.
With this year’s 22 percent fee hike in the CSU system, and a similarly tragic 18 percent hike happening in the UC system, California public education has become decidedly less public. The entire education sector – perhaps excluding the seats in the chancellor’s top box – is buckling under the weight of heavy handed budget cuts, a chilly climate for the Dream Act.
But why should it be? It’s been said that we are a land of immigrants. We boast about being a country of opportunity. The real reason the Dream Act isn’t another nail in the coffin for California is because it sponsors education through the manufacturing of skilled, knowledgeable workers, and revives the economy. More workers, more money. Original notion, right?
It’s an age-old tradition in most countries that when the going gets rough, blame the new kids. In this country’s economic downturn, we have proven to be no different. But in order to move forward with our own financial crisis, it would serve us best to utilize the man power we already have.