On Saturday October 8th Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 131 into law. If you do not know about AB 131, it states that Cal-grants, and your tax dollars will be used to fund illegal immigrant college student tuition. Looking at the issues and leaving emotion out of it is very hard to do, and emotion is evident on both sides of the issue. This article involves emotional arguments from both sides, but it is up to you to decide what emotions are backed by the facts.
The Dream Act has been a hot topic in California politics for a long time. That being said, AB 131 written by Gil Cedillo, will allow tax money and grants to go to illegal immigrants. Supporters of the bill like to put emotion into this and charge that those against it are racist. “We’re utilizing the taxpayer dollars of their parents and the parents and the taxpayers of The State of California and now we want to protect that investment by permitting them to apply for scholarships.” These were words from Cedillo after the bill passed. Other people who support the bill went on to say that all children deserve the right to a college education, saying that opponents to the bill do not care about the children. However, the issues that arise in Cedillo’s arguments and other supporters is 1) they are claiming they are using the illegal’s tax dollars but if people are illegal they are not paying taxes and 2) that it is about the children. Others ask, what about all the children here that are legal that won’t receive taxpayer funds (tuition assistance) because they are being given to illegal immigrant children? Why are children, who are legal citizens, being denied financial aid in favor of children who are not legal citizens?
With that in mind, here are three example families. Family 1 being American citizens, family 2 coming into the country and getting their citizenship legally, and family 3 being here illegally. Under this bill (AB 131), the two families that are legal can be denied financial help for college while the illegal immigrant family, family 3, are being granted the CA taxpayer funds. Many legal immigrants are furious at this bill and now wonder why they put all the time and money into becoming legal if they are not being allowed access to funds such as college grant money.
“Where does one sign up for recalling Brown? I would start a new segment on how to recall Brown, since he is afraid of your show.” These were comments on the John and Ken Show, made by Jorge Camacho on the John and Ken Facebook page and reaction to Brown signing AB 131. Other comments on the page included, “Agreed. Moonbat has to go. He is violating the constitution. Thus, a criminal act. When do we get busy with the recall campaign. Count me in.” Another comment went on to say, “We send them to school and they still can’t speak English or know the history of the United States.” There are hundreds of comments on John and Ken’s page that you can read in reaction to AB 131 being signed.
Those who oppose the bill wonder why this option is even on the table in a time when college classes are being cut and tuition is being raised for legal citizens. In addition, tax revenues for the state are down, un-employment is up, and taxes are being raised. How does this make sense, regardless of your party affiliation?
Assemblymen Tim Donnelly is against AB 131 and AB 1081 (a bill supported by Assemblymen Tom Ammiano to expand sanctuary city policies to apply to whole counties). “Together, these measures show a complete disregard of our immigration laws.” Donnelly also points out that the estimated cost for this bill, put out by the California Department of Finance is $14.5 million and the overall cost of the Cal-Grant program is $1.4 billion. While on the John and Ken show during an interview it was discussed that is most likely a huge underestimation.
Donnelly is not just speaking out about the bill, he has filed a referendum to repeal AB 131. That means if he gets the signatures needed (5 % of the total votes or 505,000 valid voters signatures) to block AB 131 from going into law an injunction will be granted. If the referendum makes the ballot, AB 131 will only go through if it is voted on by the people in the November 2012 election. So far Donnelly has had 5,000 people volunteer to help him collect signatures for this. Among those who have volunteered 25% are Hispanic, and a large amount are college students.
By: Melissa Anderson
Sources: The John and Ken Show KFI AM 640, The John and Ken FaceBook page, Assemblyman Donnelly’s web page, Assemblyman’s Cedillo web page, and Assemblyman’s Ammianso’s web page. Quotes were taken from comments on Facebook pages at random from all the above listed.