Sunday, October 9, 2011


Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law the second half of the California Dream Act. Now undocumented students in California have the right to attend State colleges and universities at in-State tuition rates, and to apply for certain Cal-Grants for tuition assistance.

I commend Assemblyman Gil Cedillo for carrying these two pieces of legislation, and Governor Brown for signing them.

Unfortunately, at the end of the day, we are still left with the same difficult problem: those undocumented students who graduate from California colleges and universiites do not have any legal status, no Social Security number, and no ability to apply for a job anywhere. They are still stranded in the terrible abyss of our broken immigration system.

And what a tragic loss. Those fine young men and women are eager and anxious to get a full education, to become employed, to pay taxes, to help build up our communities and our economy, but they are denied that crucial next step.

Only the U.S. Congress can grant them a path to legal residency after graduation. And apparently no one in Washington DC has any interest or will to even think about such a step: not the House, not the Senate, and not the President.

So, eager and talented young people will continue to be offered up on the altar of anti-immigrant rhetoric, and their hopes and dreams for a better America all but snuffed out.

As a nation we owe these young adults much better. And we owe our nation better. These young people are the hope for the future, and to derail them in their young lives is a national tragedy.

But we don't give up hope, nor do we lessen our efforts. Our broken immigration system needs desperate repair, and in the meantime, millions of people in our country live in fear that somehow they may be questioned about their legal status.

I continue to proclaim a message of hope to all of our immigrant peoples, and to do my part to create coalations of Americans who understand the import role of immigrants in our long history and our future as a nation. We shall win out eventually over the rhetoric of those opposed to our immigrant brothers and sisters.