Non-documented students will now have a new law to look forward to when 2013 begins. Many new laws will be hitting the books, and most won't be noticed by most people, but the California Dream Act bill will change lives for undocumented students.
The Dream Act bill will give undocumented college students access to state financial aid. According to Assemblyman Luis Alejo, the primary co-author of the bill says, "The California Dream Act is no longer a dream, but a reality for many of our brightest students in our state. This is an investment in their future and that of California."
The bill is coming with a lot of national debate about immigration and was opposed by many when it passed in 2011. Some conservatives have vowed to repeal the law, but those efforts have not proven effective. Opponents of the Dream Act feel that it encourages illegal immigration to the state and could potentially take financial aid and/or scholarships from otherwise law-abiding students.
As we previously wrote about, individual state colleges and universities are now offering scholarships to students who don't have U.S. citizenship. Most recently, The University of California, Berkeley has created a program called The Dreamers Fund, a $1 million scholarship program designed to benefit these undocumented immigrants.
Their scholarship program will provide aid to 200 students from 20 countries and each student will be eligible to receive $8,000 in scholarship funds. Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and have to show need.
Because immigration laws are complex with respect to naturalization, it is critical to speak with a legal professional who has extensive specialized knowledge and experience in immigration law.
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, "Central Coast lawmakers have new laws on tap," Jason Hoppin, Dec. 24, 2012