California lawmakers have passed a bill that allots $30 million to aid Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients in the state. DACA recipients will use $20 million of the money for their legal fees, while college students will use the rest for financial aid.
DACA is an executive order passed by former President Barack Obama. It protects immigrants who came to the United States as children from deportation and allows them to apply for a work permit and attend college.
This bill is part of an ongoing resistance from California against President Trump’s decision to reverse DACA. Another bill passed by California legislators will make California a “sanctuary state,” which will forbid any state law enforcement from working with federal immigration authorities to deport undocumented immigrants unless they have committed a serious crime. The bill passed on Sept. 16 and is expected to be signed by Gov. Jerry Brown to become law. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has also filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration, claiming his decision was unconstitutional. Becerra said DACA is “fully lawful.”
California is home to roughly 220,000 DACA recipients, by far the most of any state. About half of the recipients are students. At Sonoma State, DACA protects about 180 students.
Of the $30 million allocated to help DACA recipients, $10 million will go to helping students. Of this money, $7 million will go to students attending community college, and CSUs and UCs will award the rest as financial aid.
“We will not let one man with xenophobic tendencies undercut years of progress we have made in California to integrate these young adults into our society and economy,” said Senator President pro Tempore Kevin de León in a statement about the DACA allocati