The "Dream" came true for illegal immigrants in California over the weekend -- Governor Jerry Brown signed a version of the controversial Dream Act into California law Saturday. Now, local TV news station KPHO is suggesting the "Dream" may be coming to Arizona (insert Wayne Campbell's "Shyeah...and monkeys might fly out of my butt" here).
California's "Dream Act" makes illegal immigrants eligible to receive state financial aid to attend California universities and community colleges. A federal version of the bill failed in the United States Senate last year.
"Going to college is a dream that promises intellectual excitement and creative thinking,'' Brown says in a statement. "The Dream Act benefits us all by giving top students a chance to improve their lives and the lives of all of us.''
Opponents of the Dream Act say education grants should be reserved for those who are in the country legally.
"Citizens are having a hard enough time getting the classes they need now," Republican California Assemblyman Tim Donnelly wrote in a September 9 letter to Brown, obtained by California's The Standard Daily. "[California already offers] students in the country illegally in-state tuition; legally documented students from the next state over can only dream of such a benefit."
California joins New Mexico and Texas as the only three states in the country to qualify illegal immigrants for college financial aid -- and KPHO seems to think there's a shot at Arizona becoming the fourth.
KPHO ran a story on its website today under the headline "Dream Act Passed in California: Could Arizona be Next?"
The answer, simply, is no chance.
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The local news hounds over at channel 5 point out that "we all know it's a long shot that Arizona's lawmakers would follow suit [in passing a version of the Dream Act]," but still suggest that it's possible -- which it isn't.
Arizona is responsible for one of the harshest immigration laws in the entire country, which seems to be representative of the anti-immigrant sentiment held by the apparent majority of the electorate -- which probably considers the Dream Act to be more of a nightmare than reasonable pathway to U.S. citizenship.
The immigration debate has become so heated in Arizona that even Republicans who once supported the Dream Act (Congressman Jeff Flake, we're looking in your direction) have flip-flopped on the issue and now oppose it in an attempt to appeal to Arizona's far-right-wing-nuts in upcoming elections.
Could Arizona be next in line for the Dream Act? Of course not, but thanks for the laugh, KPHO.