California charges in-state tuition to illegal immigrants who completed at least three years in a California high school. Monday the California Supreme Court rejected a challenge to AB540, known as the state DREAM Act, which benefits an estimated 25,000 California students. Among them is Pedro Ramirez, student body president at Fresno State, reports The Fresno State Collegian.
Ramirez came to California at the age of three with his parents. A high school valedictorian, he tried to join the military but discovered he was undocumented. As an AB 540 student, Ramirez is ineligible for federal and state aid. He turned down pay for the student government job because he’s not allowed to work in the U.S. Ramirez is majoring in agricultural economics and political science. His future is uncertain.
“I’m going to graduate soon,” he said. “What am I going to use my degree for? And in the next few weeks they will be voting on the only hope that I have.”
The lame-duck Congress will debate the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which is unlikely to pass. The law would create a path to citizenship for undocumented students who graduate from high school and qualify for military service or college.