California Bill That Establishes Resource Centers for Immigrant Students Sent to Newsom

California Bill That Establishes Resource Centers for Immigrant Students Sent to Newsom

A youth receives help from a volunteer with his application for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program at Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights in Los Angeles on Aug. 15, 2012. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

9/28/2023

Updated: 12/30/2023

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A California bill that would establish a grant program to create more resource centers for immigrant students is one step away from becoming law.
Assembly Bill 278, introduced in January by Assemblywoman Eloise Reyes (D-San Bernardino), would establish a grant program to provide funds for so-called Dream Resource Centers—which provide financial aid counseling, immigration law, and other resources for immigrant students—on high school campuses.
The bill unanimously passed the state Assembly in May and the Senate in a 37-2 vote Sept. 7. It was sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has until Oct. 14 to sign it into law.
California has the highest population of illegal immigrants in the U.S. The state has around 115,000 such youth under 16, and 350,000 between 16 and 24, according to data from 2019 by the Migration Policy Institute, a nonprofit think tank.
Current law requires California community colleges, as well as the University of California and California State University, to have a Dream Resource Center liaison on every campus and encourages them to establish physical centers on campuses as well.
Several such centers have also been established at high schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
The centers have served as a “lifeline” for immigrant high school students and their families, Ms. Reyes said in a March statement.
Applicants wait in line with hundreds of fellow undocumented immigrants at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights offices to apply for deportation reprieve in Los Angeles on Aug. 15, 2012. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Applicants wait in line with hundreds of fellow undocumented immigrants at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights offices to apply for deportation reprieve in Los Angeles on Aug. 15, 2012. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

“California is home to many first generation and immigrant students, many of whom have to navigate a complex immigration and education system without proper guidance or support. Students have to stay up to date on both federal and state policies in order to maneuver through our immigration process,” she stated. “This is too much for students to handle on their own. By giving students the tools and resources needed to succeed statewide, many students will reach new higher educational and professional opportunities.”
There is no funding in the current state budget for the program. Even if signed, the bill would not take effect until the state Legislature determines a way to fund it.
An analysis of the bill estimates the cost of the program would be $2.5 million annually, or $10 million over four years.
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Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

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Micaela Ricaforte covers education in Southern California for The Epoch Times. In addition to writing, she is passionate about music, books, and coffee.

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