California’s governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has vetoed SB 160 sponsored by Sen. Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, which would have allowed undocumented students to apply for financial aid from the state if they attend California schools. In a veto message, Schwarzenegger said the state has limited funds available. He noted that California undocumented students already receive reduced tuition rates.
State Sen. Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, said that by denying financial aid, the state could unfairly deprive immigrants of a quality education. He argued that some of California's best and brightest students would be forced, because of their immigration status, into menial jobs in an era when the United States needs skilled workers to compete in a global marketplace.
"These children had no say in where they grew up," he said. "The only decision they made was to study hard, work hard and play by the rules. If they've done that, why should we discriminate against them?" Cedillo asked.
Last Thursday, the vetonator just said no to Cedillo’s Senate Bill 1162, which would’ve allowed undocumented persons to obtain CA driver’s licenses. Schwarzenegger blamed the feds for not setting guidelines to the Real I.D act and said the bill was “premature.”
Cedillo vowed to try again next year. "The governor failed to demonstrate leadership by doing what was right," "He chose instead to respond to his political base of extremists and zealots." Cedillo said.
SB 1162 would have gone into effect after the state received federal funding to implement the Real ID Act.
SB 1162 measure would have provided two new classes of driver's licenses for people not currently eligible:
1) Motorists with a pending application for legal residency could have qualified for a traditional, but temporary, driver's license.
2) Undocumented immigrants with no immediate hopes of legalizing their status could have obtained a "driving only" license with a distinguishing color or mark.
An estimated 2 million undocumented immigrants drive in California and proponents of Cedillo’s bill say it would make our roads safer.