AB 131, Second Half of California DREAM Act, Suspended in Appropriations Committee, Local Activists Host Press Conference

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In July, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 130, a bill that gives undocumented students access to private financial aid.

Now, activists are pushing to get AB131 -- a second bill that undocumented students call "the real California DREAM Act -- pulled from the Senate appropriations committee, where it sits in suspense. AB 131, which was introduced by Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, would make undocumented students eligible for Cal Grants and some other financial aid from the state. The committee has until Aug. 26 to move the bill out of suspense. 

With a deadline hot on their tails, the Orange County Dream Team is pressuring lawmakers to move the bill out of suspense, holding press conferences and asking people to call their elected officials.

This morning, several undocumented students spoke to members of the community at a press conference at Los Amigos of Orange County's meeting in Anaheim. 

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OCWeekly/ Marisa Gerber
Yesenia Capellino shares her story of being an undocumented student with members of Los Amigos of Orange County, like Jose Moreno, at a press conference.
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This fall, Yesenia Capellino, a 20-year-old undocumented student, plans to fulfill her "American dream," by transferring from Santa Ana College to UCLA and majoring in psychology. Capellino, originally from Bolivia, shared her story in hopes of getting what she calls "The real California DREAM Act" passed. She wiped tears from her eyes as she spoke of her mom -- who works numerous jobs -- and the sacrifice she's made. "I seek the day when I can tell her she doesn't need to work anymore," Capellino says. "I encourage you all to be proactive and also help us with our dreams."

Dr. Jose Moreno of Los Amigos, who was once undocumented himself, also spoke at the press conference. "Please pull AB 131 out of suspension, cause what you're really suspending are dreams." 

At the end of the press conference, one of the undocumented students asked everyone in the audience to call Senator Christine Kehoe, who chairs the Senate appropriations committee, and ask her to pull the bill from suspense. If you have an opinion on the issue, you can call Kehoe at (916) 651-4039.

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