California Dream Act Essay

410 Words2 Pages

The share of Latino immigrants in the United States is rapidly increasing. In fact, 17 percent of Latino students who are enrolled in public schools are undocumented (Perez, 2010). The growth in the presence of Latino immigrants is especially true in California. Currently, California holds the largest concentration of undocumented Latinos (Perez, 2010). As a result, the state has enacted policies, such as Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540) and its follow-up law, the California Dream Act, so that higher education would become more accessible to students without legal status. Since Latino immigrants will constitute an increasingly significant proportion of the workforce, it is important that these individuals have the opportunity to take advantage …show more content…

In the United States, it is estimated that over 65,000 undocumented students graduate from public high schools each year (Perez, 2010). However, only 7,000 to 13,000 of these individuals enroll in college after completing their secondary education (Diaz-Strong, Gomez, Luna-Duarte & Meiners, 2011). Researchers state that many undocumented high school students graduate with the requirements that are needed for them to be accepted into public universities in California (Diaz-Strong et al., 2011). However, before AB 540 was passed, undocumented students who desired to attend college had to pay out-of-state tuition. This requirement significantly hindered immigrants’ ability to access higher education. After all, the cost of out-of-state tuition is considerably more than the cost of tuition for California residents. For example, this years’ tuition for California residents at UC Davis is $13,952 whereas the price for out-of-state tuition is $38,660 (Budget and Institutional Analysis, 2015). Since the majority of Latino individuals without legal status come from low-income backgrounds (Diaz-Strong et al., 2011), the cost to attend college appears to have been prohibitively expensive for them before AB 540 was enacted. Clearly, undocumented students were blocked from accessing the one institution which could give them the opportunity to gain social

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