Opponents fall short of challenging California Dream Act

SAN FRANCISCO Fri Jan 6, 2012 11:36pm EST

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Organizers have failed to gather enough signatures for a California voter initiative aimed at barring illegal immigrants from receiving public aid for college, a leader of the campaign said on Friday.

The petition drive led by state Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a Republican, took aim at 2011 legislation known as the California Dream Act.

The first part of the legislation signed into law in July by Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, allowed illegal immigrants to receive privately funded college scholarships.

The second part of the legislation signed in October also extended state-funded aid to certain illegal immigrants, and that is what opponents sought to overturn.

The effort to put a measure on the ballot to repeal that bill required 504,760 signatures, but organizers were only able to gather 447,514 signatures, Donnelly said.

Donnelly told supporters in a written statement that, despite failing to gather enough signatures, his group's effort was "no less of a warning to Governor Brown, and every Democrat legislator who voted to create a new entitlement program for illegals while the state still has a budget deficit."

Friday was the deadline for the opponents of the California Dream Act to submit their signatures to election officials, according to the group's website, which referred to the legislation as the "nightmare act."

Earlier this week, Donnelly was cited for misdemeanor gun possession after he was found to have a loaded gun in his carry-on luggage when he was stopped at a screening point at a Southern California airport. Donnelly said he had forgotten to take the gun out of his bag.

The two-part California Dream Act was authored by state Senator Gil Cedillo, a Democrat. He said in a statement that the proposed ballot measure would have taken the state in a "very negative, destructive and intentionally divisive direction."

Brown and other proponents of the California Dream Act argue it gives college-age illegal immigrants important education and skills they could use to contribute to the state's economy.

In Maryland, opponents of a 2011 bill that extended in-state tuition to illegal immigrants have qualified a measure for the November ballot aimed at overturning the law.

(Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Peter Bohan)

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Comments (2)
JimsZ wrote:
Yeh, let’s just give everyone who jumps and fence or rides a boat free schooling at our colleges. It’s not enough that most parents can’t even afford to send their kids to college anymore, but these illegals will probably get it free due to “income guidelines, etc” and all on the backs of hardworking american taxpaying citizens. Anyone that gives anything to illegal immigrants besides a ride home is showing nothing less than treason! Break our laws and we say “Oh, sorry… here is some free schooling, you may want medicaid for that pregnant wife, here’s some coupons to use for food (or you can trade those for drugs if you’d like)!!! NO MORE – I hope Maryland overturns the law a bunch of idiotic Democrats errored in making

Jan 09, 2012 11:53am EST  --  Report as abuse
Needfairness wrote:
Yes, we need to overturns those Democrats errors to allow illegals to get our benefits. We, local employed in Calif. State. Pay lots of taxes to the government and cannot get any benefits from the Calif. State. Also we have lots of budget crisis already.

Jan 13, 2012 4:01pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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