Wash. Times' Miller Misleads On California DREAM Act

››› ››› HARDEEP DHILLON

Washington Times senior editor Emily Miller falsely claimed that a bill under consideration in California would require only that undocumented students attend state high schools for three years to be eligible to receive financial aid. In fact, undocumented students must meet several requirements to qualify for aid and would receive certain grants only after every legal California resident has received awards for which he or she is eligible.

Miller Falsely Claimed Undocumented Students Need Only Meet High School Requirement For Aid

Miller: "The Only Limit For Applicants" To Obtain Financial Aid "Is That They Must Have Attended State High Schools For Three Years." From Miller's Washington Times column:

The latest scheme from California liberals is a move to force over-burdened taxpayers to foot the bill to put illegals through college.

On Thursday, the California Senate Appropriations Committee passed AB 131, which would allow undocumented pupils to sign up for public financial aid at state schools. At the same time, the Golden State's dire fiscal straits have forced cutbacks in public-education spending for actual citizens. This particular bill is one of two measures in the so-called "California Dream Act," a package designed to call to mind the congressional Dream Act which grants citizenship for illegals who go to college. California's version makes illegal immigrants eligible for millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded Cal Grants and other forms of financial assistance. The only limit for applicants is that they must have attended state high schools for three years. [The Washington Times, 8/26/11]

In Fact, Undocumented Students Must Meet Several Requirements To Qualify For Aid

Under AB 131 Undocumented Students Must Meet Several Requirements To Qualify For Financial Aid Programs. From California Assembly Bill 131:

SECTION 1. Section 66021.6 is added to the Education Code, to read:

66021.6. (a) Notwithstanding any other law, and except as provided for in subdivision (b), the Trustees of the California State University and the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges shall, and the Regents of the University of California are requested to, establish procedures and forms that enable persons who are exempt from paying nonresident tuition under Section 68130.5, or who meet equivalent requirements adopted by the regents, to apply for, and participate in, all student aid programs administered by these segments to the full extent permitted by federal law.

[...]

SEC. 2. Section 68130.5 of the Education Code is amended to read:

68130.5. Notwithstanding any other law:

(a) A student, other than a nonimmigrant alien within the meaning of paragraph (15) of subsection (a) of Section 1101 of Title 8 of the United States Code, who meets all of the following requirements, shall be exempt from paying nonresident tuition at the California State University and the California Community Colleges:

(1) Secondary school attendance in California for three or more years, at least one year of which shall have been at a high school.

(2) Graduation from a California secondary school or attainment of the equivalent thereof.

(3) Registration as an entering student at, or current enrollment at, an accredited institution of higher education in California not earlier than the fall semester or quarter of the 2001-02 academic year.

(4) In the case of a student without lawful immigration status, the filing of an affidavit with the campus of the California State University or the community college district that the student has filed an application to legalize his or her immigration status, or will file an application as soon as he or she is eligible to do so.

(b) A student exempt from nonresident tuition under this section may be reported by a community college district as a full-time equivalent student for apportionment purposes.

(c) The Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges and the Trustees of the California State University shall prescribe rules and regulations for the implementation of this section.

(d) Student information obtained in the implementation of this section is confidential. [Leginfo.ca.gov, California Assembly Bill 131, accessed 8/29/11]

Miller Claimed Bill Is A "Giveaway To Illegals"

Miller: "California's Version Makes Illegal Immigrants Eligible For Millions Of Dollars In Taxpayer-Funded Cal Grants." From Miller's Washington Times column:

On Thursday, the California Senate Appropriations Committee passed AB 131, which would allow undocumented pupils to sign up for public financial aid at state schools. At the same time, the Golden State's dire fiscal straits have forced cutbacks in public-education spending for actual citizens.

This particular bill is one of two measures in the so-called "California Dream Act," a package designed to call to mind the congressional Dream Act which grants citizenship for illegals who go to college.

California's version makes illegal immigrants eligible for millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded Cal Grants and other forms of financial assistance. The only limit for applicants is that they must have attended state high schools for three years.

[...]

Giveaways to illegals come out of the pockets of hard-working, legal families who have to struggle to pay for college for their own kin. [The Washington Times, 8/26/11]

But Undocumented Students Would Only Receive Cal Grants After Legal CA Residents Received Grants For Which They Are Eligible

AB 131 Specifies That Cal Grants Are Available Only To Qualified Undocumented Students If "Funding Remains Available" After All Legal California Residents Have Received Awards They Are Eligible For. From California Assembly Bill 131:

(c) A student who is exempt from paying nonresident tuition under Section 68130.5 shall not be eligible for Competitive Cal Grant A and B Awards unless funding remains available after all California students not exempt pursuant to Section 68130.5 have received Competitive Cal Grant A and B Awards that they are eligible for. [Leginfo.ca.gov, California Assembly Bill 131, accessed 8/29/11]

Miller: Congressional DREAM Act "Grants Citizenship For Illegals Who Go To College"

Wash. Times' Miller: Congressional Dream Act "Grants Citizenship For Illegals Who Go To College." Miller wrote in her column: "Democrats will do anything to pander for Hispanic votes in 2012. They're even in favor of amnesty and cash handouts to illegal aliens, if that's what it takes." She then added: "This particular bill is one of two measures in the so-called 'California Dream Act,' a package designed to call to mind the congressional Dream Act which grants citizenship for illegals who go to college." [The Washington Times, 8/26/11]

In Fact, Congressional DREAM Act Allowed Eligible Immigrants To Apply For "Conditional Permanent Resident Status"

Congressional DREAM Act Would Allow Eligible Immigrants To Apply For "Conditional Permanent Resident Status," Not Grant Citizenship. The DREAM Act, which has been pending in Congress since 2001, states that eligible unauthorized immigrants could have their status adjusted to "conditional permanent resident status," which shall be "valid for a period of 6 years" and subject to termination should the individual cease to be eligible. Conditional permanent resident status is only available under the DREAM Act to those who meet the following conditions:

  • were 15 years or younger when they entered the country;
  • have lived in the country for five years;
  • have "good moral character";
  • have been admitted to an institution of higher education or graduated from high school or earned a GED;
  • are 35 years old or younger; and
  • pass criminal background checks.

Only once these requirements are met would an undocumented immigrant be granted temporary legal status. Following a six-year period, immigrants could apply for legal permanent residency if they had acquired a degree from an institution of higher education or completed at least two years; or served in the military for at least two years, and if discharged, received an honorable discharge; and not been out of the country for more than 365 days in that total six-year period. [Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2011, accessed 8/29/11; Media Matters, 6/10/11]

Posted In
Immigration
Network/Outlet
The Washington Times
Person
Emily Miller
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