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California Dream Act Opponents Fail To Get Ballot Initiative

An effort to halt public benefits for undocumented students in California hit a snag Friday. As Bob Hensley of Capital Public Radio reports for NPR News, a petition to get the issue on the state ballot has failed:

Supporters of a proposed ballot initiative to rescind a law providing financial aid for California students who are illegally living in the state came up more than 55,000 signatures short.

So when the law goes into effect next year, it will allow undocumented students enrolled at public universities to apply for state loans and scholarships.

Another portion of the so-called Dream Act is already in effect. It allows illegal immigrants who are students to receive aid from private sources.

California also currently permits undocumented students to pay lower in-state tuition fees if they're graduates of a state high school and are on track to legalize their immigration status.

The Los Angeles Times reports Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-San Bernardino) told his supporters the failure was "disappointing news." The paper says Donnelly added:

It is no less of a warning to Gov. Brown, and every Democrat legislator who voted to create a new entitlement program for illegals while the state still has a budget deficit over $9 billion, and cannot even meet it's obligation to legal California students.

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