AB 540 and the DREAM ActNov 12, 05:20 PM

This section of the Puente Web Site deals with two issues important to undocumented students. Acrobat documents require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader available for download at www.adobe.com.

AB 540

AB 540 allows undocumented students of higher education in California to receive in-state tuition if they either graduated from a California high school, attained the equivalent of a high school diploma, or attended a high school in California for three or more years (students with current non-immigrant visas are not eligible).

AB 540 Student Resources

PowerPoint document on the history of AB 540 AB540_Presentation_5.29.07_v5.2.ppt

Acrobat document: College and Financial Aid for AB540 Students College_Financial_Aid_AB540.pdf

Acrobat document: Mexican American Legal Defense Fund AB540 FAQs MALDEF_AB540_FAQ.pdf

Acrobat document: Immigrant Legal Resource Center Summary of AB540 ILRC_AB_540.pdf


The Senate Judiciary Committee approved S. 1291, the “Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act” in late June 2002. This bipartisan bill addresses the difficult situation many immigrant children face who were brought to the United States at a young age, are studying high school or have graduated from high school and are unable to fulfill their dreams due to the obstacles they face. The bill still has to be submitted for consideration of the full body of the Senate.

The bill would reform current law that prohibits states that decide to do so from providing in-state tuition to undocumented immigrant students. The DREAM Act also creates a path for qualifying undocumented immigrant students to regularize their immigration status through a new cancellation of removal procedure. Eligibility to regularize immigration status will be based on the student’s age, length of U.S. residence, high school graduation, and demonstration of “good moral character.”

Unfortunately, to date, the Senate has failed to get this matter out of committee for a full vote. In October 2007, the measure barely missed the number required for moving the act to the Senate floor. For details on this vote (and who did not vote), see the NILC Statement on Senate Dream Act Vote.

Acrobat document: Immigrant Legal Resource Center Summary of the DREAM Act ILRC_DREAM_Act.pdf

A great deal of information is also available on the NILC web site, including transcripts of student testimony, videos, and issue briefs.

Background policy report on the DREAM Act.

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