Opinion: Far-reaching Partnership Will Aid Dreamers, Despite Parents' Immigration Status

"The California Dream Act is spawning fascinating and far-reaching partnerships," The Modesto Bee reports.

"About 25,000 California high school graduates a year realize, with a jolt, when they apply to college or for jobs that they are legally different. Born in other countries and brought to the United States as young children by parents who overstayed visas or entered the country illegally, they’ve known no home.

Congress has failed to put these homegrown kids on a path to citizenship. But fortunately, the California Dream Act, which took effect a year ago, provides some hope to these kids by giving them a shot at a college education.

Saturday, nearly 3,000 students from 24 northeastern California counties gathered in Sacramento for the 'Steps to College/Pasos a la Universidad' fair. They were able to apply for private scholarships and state financial aid. What made this event unusual was that it took place at the Mexican Consulate and was co-hosted by a state agency, the California Student Aid Commission.

The Mexican government also has launched a private scholarship drive with a $35,000 donation matched by contributions from California organizations. Last year, 186 high school students and 70 college students from the 24 counties received scholarships totaling $150,000.

The irony, of course, is that that if this college program works, these students will stay in California and contribute to this nation’s prosperity.

As the consul general of Mexico, Carlos González Gutiérrez, said, it is 'highly unlikely' that these students would return to Mexico. They have roots here. Further, California expects to be 1 million short of the college graduates it needs by 2025, so they will be in high demand."

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