(AP) Illegal immigrants can now apply for state-funded scholarships and aid at state universities after California Gov. Jerry Brown announced Saturday that he has signed the second half of a legislative package targeting such students.
AB 131 by Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, is the second half of the California Dream Act. Brown signed the first half of the package in July, which approved private scholarships and loans for students who are illegal immigrants.
Under current law, illegal immigrant students who have graduated from a California high school and can prove they're on the path to legalize their immigration status can pay resident tuition rates. The bill would allow these students to apply for state aid.
The contentious second half of the package requires that immigrant students meet the same requirements as all other students applying for financial aid at state universities but specifies that they only qualify for financial aid after all the other legal residents have applied.
The bills are different from the federal Dream Act, which includes a path to citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants.