The California DREAM Act of 2011 Essay

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Introduction: Every year thousands of undocumented students graduate from high school with uncertainty about a post-secondary education. Many of these students do not have the financial means, and are often too scared about their legal status to continue their education. This issue is extremely prevalent in the state of California, hosting 2.6 million “alien residents”, it has the largest population of undocumented immigrants (Gonzales, 2006). Immigration policies have been controversial topics in the United States for a long time. Although there is still an ongoing debate about reforming the current immigration laws, there has been progress in making post-secondary education a possibility for undocumented students. This paper will focus…show more content…
Proposition 187 was challenged and ruled unconstitutional, however. In 1996, Congress passed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) which prevented undocumented students to receive postsecondary educational benefit on the basis of residence in a state unless U.S. citizens a were eligible for the same benefit (Frum, 2007). However, the act did not prohibit states from granting in-state tuition to undocumented students; rather, the act mentioned that out-of-state U.S. citizens must also qualify for the same benefits. According to Olivas (2004), the IIRIRA gives states the authority to determine state residency for tuition purpose.
In 2001, Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540) passed in California allowing undocumented students, who met specific requirements, the opportunity to pay in-state level tuition at any, CSU, UC, of community college of California (Diaz, 2011). This new section of the California Education Code created an exemption for undocumented students who were required to pay non-resident fees. In order for undocumented students to benefit from the AB 540 Bill they must have met certain requirements which include, a) attended a California high school for 3 full years, b) will of have graduated from a California high school or received an equivalent of a diploma, c) must register or be
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