At long last, a small victory for the softest of the pro-immigration bills. The California State Assembly approved the DREAM Act today by a landslide 46-25 vote -- legislation that would allow illegal immigrants who have, against all odds, earned their way into state universities, a chance to receive financial aid.
Los Angeles Assemblyman Gil Cedillo has introduced the bill in vain, year after year, since 2005. Each time it reached the desk of former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, however...
... it died a sharp painful death by veto. (The governator may have immigrated from Austria himself, and made beautiful babies with his Guatamala-born housekeeper, but damned if he gives the young immigrants of today a shot at joining America's business class.)
This time, there's hope: Governor Jerry Brown promised on the campaign trail to sign the DREAM Act if it could make it through the Legislature.
Thus leaving the final decision up to the State Senate. We're watching you, Huff.
Unfortunately, the state's DREAM Act isn't as far-reaching as the federal version (not that Obama and his gridlocked Congress have been able to push that one through, either), in that undocumented college students wouldn't be gifted a path to citizenship in addition to the financial aid.
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The Associated Press details the bill's amusing counter-argument:
Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, who has made immigration one of his legislative priorities, argued that a large number of Internet searches for information on the bill came from China.
"If you offer a benefit, people will come," he said. "Do we want to have a lot more people coming here illegally?"
Stay tuned for updates.