California resists racist legislation targeting immigrants
Several hundred celebrants attended Monday’s event when Gov. Jerry Brown signed the California Dream Act – AB130 authored by Assemblyman Gil Cedillo that guarantees higher education private source funding for undocumented youth and makes California the first state to resist racist legislation targeting immigrants.
Gov. Brown declared, “This is a wise investment in the future of California and the country. Some in the capitol would resolve the budget deficit by shrinking our commitment to education. I think that this is a wrong approach.”
Father Richard Estrada of Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church called Monday a day of joy and hope as he prayed the invocation before the law was signed:
“Blessed be the children of immigrants who give us hope today, hope for the future. We pray that our children … be free to pursue their educational pursuits. May they give their God-given talents for the good of all people.”
AB130 permits undocumented students to apply and receive private source scholarships and grants to pay for their college and university education expenses. It does not represent any additional costs to the state for qualifying students.
California is the first state to permit such access to education funding.
“This is one more brick in the foundation to turn back the ugly 1990s anti-immigrant period characterized by the passage of Proposition 187 and a series of other barriers to social progress for immigrants,” declared Nativo Lopez, President of the Mexican American Political Association and the Hermandad Mexicana Latinoamericana.
“While other states are passing racist legislation targeting immigrants for exclusion and Jim Crow treatment, California is turning the corner from its ugly past. AB130 must be seen as the historic victory that it is and recognize the legislative leader, Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, as the historical figure that he has become.”
LA Times reported that Governor Brown said:
“I know where the future is … it’s in the minds of people. Anything that’s going to advance the cause of our people whatever their background, their color, their religion, their political philosophy, all of that is secondary to the fact that we’re Californians together, there’s a dream and that dream is fulfilled by the human imagination nurtured in schools but also nurtured in neighborhoods.”
Cedillo declared that, “this is a statement of optimism, a statement that we still have hope.”
“This is about the children, … about us as parents and the hopes and aspirations that all of us have for our children. Education is for life.”
He thanked the many students who inspired him to persevere in introducing the legislation after numerous vetoes by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last year.