DREAM Act signed in Los Angeles

California Governor Jerry Brown signed the DREAM Act recently, allowing undocumented immigrant students in the state to enjoy in-state tuition to college. According to the Los Angeles Times, the bill also allows undocumented students to apply for scholarships funded by private donors.

Brown’s signing comes after three failed attempts at similar bills, which were either vetoed or failed.

The law will go into effect January 1, 2012, and illegal immigrants applying for aid must file an affidavit with the educational institution that says they will apply for lawful immigration status as soon as possible or that they have already applied.

“While many states have chosen to legislate hate and division by approving anti-immigration laws, California’s governor sends a strong message that investing in today’s student population, regardless of their immigration status, is smart, practical and the right thing to do,” said Angelica Salas, head of the Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.

The DREAM Act in California is different than the federal government’s legislation by the same name. This still unsuccessful bill proposed by Democrats in Washington would give the children of illegal immigrants a path to citizenship if they get a college education or serve in the military.