Yesterday 5 leaders in the undocumented student movement were arrested, demanding the Obama administration to grant all Dream Act eligible youth an executive order, that would stop all dreamer related deportations and give us work authorization until Congress get's it together and passes the federal DREAM Act. The video up above is from Univision, which I make a quick appearance on. For the English speakers, here's the write up from Southern California Public Radio. It was an amazing, emotional and powerful action that kicked off the national administrative relief campaign.
Earlier in the week, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 131, the second half of the CA Dream Act. Yeh ah !! It only took 10 years, but better late than never. Below, you'll find a CA Dream Act 101 by The Dream Resource Center. It breaks down how it works, when it'll go into affect and who can apply. So haters can stop saying that undocumented students are taking away resources from others. Tan locos/as.
During the 2011 legislative cycle, California Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills (AB 130 and AB 131) packaged as the ‘California Dream Act’ which allow qualifying ‘AB 540’ status holders to access state and non-state resourced funds to finance their college or university education.
AB 130 would allow eligible AB 540 students to apply for and receive scholarships at California public colleges and universities derived from non-state funds. This bill will go into effect January 1, 2012.
AB 131 would allow eligible AB 540 student to apply for and receive financial aid at California public colleges and universities partially derived from state funds. This bill will go into effect January 1, 2013.
AB 540, a California law passed in 2001, allows students to pay in-state tuition rates if they meet all of the following requirements:
1) Attended a California high school for 3 or more years.
2) Graduated from a California high school with a high school diploma or attained the equivalent (GED).
3) After getting accepted to a California public university or college, if undocumented, the student must file an affidavit with the intended college or university stating their eligibility under AB 540 and intention of applying for a lawful immigration status as soon as they are eligible.
Before AB 130 and AB 131, AB 540 status holders who were undocumented did not qualify for financial aid administered by the state or their respective institutions.
What does AB 130 do for undocumented students?
In the past, California public colleges and universities were bound by the state to withhold financial assistance to their undocumented students. AB 130 gives California public colleges and universities the opportunity to allow undocumented students to apply and compete for scholarship awards. These include scholarships funded through private donors, alumni contributions or individual departmental efforts.
How can an undocumented student access funds made available by AB 130?
Students must apply and compete for available awards as outlined by their respective college or university. Provisions of AB 130 will not go into effect until January 1, 2012.
What does AB 131 do for undocumented students?
In the past, the State of California did not administer a financial aid program for undocumented students. This bill allows undocumented students who qualify for AB 540 to participate in state funded financial aid programs:
- AB 131 calls for California’s community colleges to allow students to apply for the Board of Governor’s Fee Waivers, which waive the educational fees of qualifying low-income students.
- AB 131 also calls for the establishment of procedures and forms that would enable current AB 540 status holders to apply for, and participate in, other student aid programs administered by California’s public colleges and universities such as institutional aid derived from tuition revenue.
- Lastly, AB 131 calls for the State of California to allow AB-540 status holders to participate in any state-administered financial aid programs such as Cal Grants. However, funds for the Competitive Cal Grants A and B will not be made available to undocumented students unless funding remains available after their California resident counterparts have received theirs. Please see http://www.calgrants.org/ for information on the different types of Cal Grants that California administers. According to a statement released by the Office of Governor Jerry Brown, “The California Department of Finance estimates that 2,500 students will qualify for Cal Grants as a result of AB 131."
How can an undocumented student access funds made available by AB 131?
For institutional-based awards, students must apply and compete for available awards as outlined by their respective college or university. For Cal Grants or other state funded assistance, the California Student Aid Commission will develop a system for applying to aid, given that undocumented students cannot apply for FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) in order to determine their income level and need. Information on new processes will be disseminated as soon as it is available. Provisions of AB 131 will not go into effect until January 1, 2013.
*Because AB 131 was just signed, it is still pending the approval of the University of California system. We will update this as necessary.
For questions or more information, please contact the Dream Resource Center.
(213) 480-4155 ext. 213