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So-called 'Dream Act' nightmarish for state taxpayers
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Don't think that Assemblyman Gill Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, will give up being the champion for the cause of illegal aliens in California. He's on a roll now.

Cedillo - who for years has pushed unsuccessfully for the state to give illegal aliens the right to hold driver's licenses - was given a great victory in the passage of AB 131, half of the so-called California DREAM Act. DREAM is an acronym for the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act. Gov. Brown signed the bill last week.

The first bill passed earlier this year, AB 130 allows "undocumented" - the politically correct term for those who crossed the border illegally - students enrolled in California's public colleges and universities to receive privately-funded university scholarships from non-state funds. Its companion bill, AB 131 allows "undocumented" students to apply for state-funded financial aid.

AB 131 builds on AB 130 by allowing illegal immigrants to apply for and receive Board of Governors Fee Waivers at community colleges, Cal Grants at universities (only after such grants are awarded to eligible documented students), and some types of financial aid administered at the university or college level (such as UC Grants). It would also expand eligibility for California in-state tuition to those who graduate from California adult schools and vocational schools, as long as the student also attended a California high school for at least one year.

AB 131 was approved 45-27 along party lines with Democrats in favor and Republicans opposed. The GOP had great reasons to oppose the DREAM Act, what I call the Legal Residents & Taxpayers Nightmare Act.

Proponents of the DREAM Act say it gives students access to greater educational opportunities will mean more taxable income for the state.

What the DREAM Act does is drive up state costs, encourage more illegal immigration, and displace legal residents from the state's university system.

California doesn't have enough slots for all the students who want to attend great institutions. There just isn't enough room. But giving an advantage to those who chose to break immigration law is just wrong.

Sen. Doug La Malfa (R-Richvale) aptly pointed out, "It's against the rule of law for benefits to be given out to people here without legal status." During the floor debate, La Malfa read a letter from a Chico-area resident who complained his daughter, a U.S citizen, recently had her state financial aid cut and must now get a job or postpone college. The letter writer said the bill spells "shattered dreams" for his daughter and others.

Essentially, the DREAM act favors those who are breaking the law over those who follow the law. It's patently unfair to immigrants who apply for citizenship, wait for the legal process, and enter the United States legally.

While the Democrats cater to the Latino population with such ethically challenging laws, it's bad policy to thwart the rule of law. If I break into your home and leave my child in your kitchen and tell him to help himself to your refrigerator, that child might be in your house through no fault of his own, but it doesn't mean we should re-write basic laws in order to make him your foster child against your will. It's still your home, after all.

There's also the problem of what to do with illegal alien graduates once they have degrees. They still can't legally work here. You can bet Cedillo has his agenda set for amnesty in California to open the flood gates of illegal immigrants. I can hear him now: "Well, we can't let all that money we've invested in his college eduction go to waste now can we?"

And did the Democrats in Sacramento think about cost? The Legislative Analyst's Office said AB 131 will cost the state up to $40 million per year since there are about 3,600 students who are undocumented or who have other residency issues in the CSU system, and as many as 642 in the U.C. system and 34,000 enrolled in community colleges. The costs includes $13 million for Cal Grants, which average about $4,500; up to $15 million in community college waivers; and $12 million in institutional aid from the University of California and California State University systems.

As La Malfa notes, "People are just insulted. The state is out of money and we are opening a new door here for more funds to be expended."

Yes, there is an American Dream, but it requires hard work, keeping government out of the way and providing for your family in the best way you can - but it must be earned. Democrats, ever the ones to give things away for the sake of political power, just gave away more of money it doesn't have to give.

No wonder California is headed to the brink of economic disaster.

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