It comes as no surprise Democratic Gov. Edmund “Jerry” Brown Jr., would praise President Barack Obama for his decision to essentially grant amnesty to nearly five million immigrants in this county illegally.
Brown said that the president stepped up for hard-working families across America.
Brown is no stranger to providing illegal immigrants with benefits, having signed a similar bill into law in California in 2011.
The Dream Act allows illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States by their parents, to receive state financial aid at public universities and community colleges. It also allows them to become eligible for fee waivers in the community college system. In 2013, illegal immigrants also received assistance from Cal-Grants, which is a public program.
“Going to college is a dream that promises intellectual excitement and creative thinking,” Brown said 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.”
The only stipulation for the illegal immigrants to receive the financial support, is that they must graduate from a California high school, after having attended school in the state for at least three years. They must also affirm that they are in the process of applying for legal immigrant status. Additionally, financial need must be shown and academic standards must be met.
Just like the praises that Brown showered on Obama, Brown was also praised. Assemblyman Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles) who crafted the bill said, “After having invested 12 years in the high school education of these young men and women, who are here through no fault of their own it’s the smartest thing for us to do to permit these students to get scholarships and be treated like every other student.”
Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights Los Angeles, also praised Brown, when she said the signing of the Dream Act was a great day for California, for education and for immigrant students who have kept their end of the bargain and continue to give their best to the only nation they know as their home.
Brown went a step further and signed, AB844, written by Assemblyman Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), which allows illegal immigrants to also serve in student government on public campuses and receive grants, fee waivers and expenses for doing so.
Perhaps Brown’s bills were a foreshadowing of things to come in the Obama Administration several years later.
As with Brown’s previous bill, Obama’s amnesty plan was met with objections by Republicans.
Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-San Bernardino) spoke out against Brown’s Dream Act when it was signed.
“It’s morally wrong,” said Donnelly. “We have just created a new entitlement that is going to cause tens of thousands of people to come here illegally from all over the world.” Donnelly vowed to start a referendum drive to repeal the legislation back in 2011 but was unsuccessful in his efforts.
Donnelly, however, lost his seat in the California Assembly during the mid-term elections of 2014 and may never get the opportunity to follow through with his promise. But, Republicans who recently won control of both the House and Senate during the mid-term elections, have also vowed to oppose Obama’s latest ploy at granting amnesty to millions.
Perhaps their efforts will turn out better than Donnelly’s at overturning Obama’s executive order since they will hold the majority when they takeover in January 2015.
“By ignoring the will of the American people, President Obama has cemented his legacy of lawlessness and squandered what little credibility he had left,” House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement after the speech. “His ‘my way or the highway’ approach makes it harder to build the trust with the American people that is necessary to get things done on behalf of the country. Republicans are left with the serious responsibility of upholding our oath of office.”
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said he “will not sit idly by and let the President bypass Congress and our Constitution.”
Brown has the backing of millions of Democrats in his predominantly blue state. Obama on the other hand, a Democratic President who used to have the backing of millions of Democrats across the U.S., slipped in popularity. His fall from grace was clearly shown by the loss that Democrats suffered during the mid-term 2014 elections, when the GOP took back both the House and Senate.
While Obama’s reign begins to come to an end, Brown in his fourth term as California’s governor seems to be picking up steam with constituents.
Brown has signed additional laws aimed at increasing the rights of illegal immigrants. Brown approved the issuance of driver’s licenses and legal services for unaccompanied minors that came to California from Central America over the summer by virtue of Obama’s open borders.
Perhaps Brown’s real praise for Obama’s executive order is borne out of the fact that the rest of the nation is starting to look a whole lot like California.