A proposal by Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders to provide $30 million in assistance to undocumented immigrants affected by President Donald Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will be heard by the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee today.
“We will not let one man with xenophobic tendencies undercut years of progress we have made in California to integrate these young adults into our society and economy,” said Senator President pro Tempore Kevin de León in a statement. “California is their home and they are our future.”
The money for DACA recipients, also known as Dreamers, will come from $20 million in additional funding for immigration legal services under the One California Immigration Services funding program, which helps immigrants apply for citizenship or a lawfully present status, according to a release from de Leon’s office.
Legislators will also provide an additional $10 million in financial aid for Dreamers to pay for college by expanding the Dream Loan program, including $7 million for California Community College students, $2 million for California State University students via the Dream Loan program, and $1 million for University of California students via the Dream Loan program.
The Dream Loan program (SB 1210) was authored by Sen. Ricardo Lara, who represents portions of Long Beach, and signed by Brown in 2014. It makes low-interest loans of up to $4,000 per year available to AB 540-eligible students unable to qualify for federal loans. The loans cap out at $20,000 and are made repayable over 10 years. The loans “draw from a revolving fund to achieve self-sufficiency as students repay the loans,” according to a release from Lara’s office.
“Funding the Dream Loan gets us another step closer to treating all California university students equally,” said Lara in a statement. “President Trump may think he can destroy their dreams by dismantling DACA, but the Legislature will continue to help all students regardless of where they were born, because they are Californians and they represent our future.”
“The new funding for DACA services we are adding to the budget will provide answers and help young Californians stay in the only country they’ve ever known,” said Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon in a statement. “Donald Trump may love chaos. These kids don’t deserve it.”
Officials said the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee will hear the funding proposal today at a time and location to be announced during Senate session.
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