Almost 40,000 undocumented students in California public colleges will be eligible to apply for state aid in January 2013, but Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-San Bernardino) said the program is too expensive, especially with 2.5 million unemployed Californians.
“I don’t know what (Gov. Jerry Brown’s) talking about when he says this won’t affect other students,” Donnelly said. “It’s a zero sum game … there’s only so much money”
The Governor’s office estimated the program would cost $14 million. That’s only 1 percent of Cal Grant aid, but too much for Donnelly who said the funds do not exist.
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"If we had millions of dollars lying around, we would not have cut $10 million from veterans or slashed art and band programs from schools," Donnelly said.
Supporters of the bill claim it’s an investment in education that could help the state’s economy by aiding all students. However, Donnelly said the media focuses too much on the children of illegal immigrants.
We’re “rolling out the red carpet for people who have come here the wrong way,” he said.
Even Texas Gov. and Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry signed a similar bill in 2001, calling opponents of the move "heartless."
Donnelly said the economy was “very different” at that time.