ASUC passes bill in support of California DREAM Act

The ASUC Senate unanimously passed a bill Wednesday night urging Gov. Jerry Brown to sign the second part of the California DREAM Act — AB 131 — that was approved last week by the state Senate and Assembly.

The bill, passed with a vote of 19-0, will be sent to Brown’s office accompanied by a letter from ASUC President Vishalli Loomba and External Affairs Vice President Joey Freeman by Sept 9, to show the ASUC’s support of AB 131 — a bill, that if signed, would allow undocumented students to receive state funded financial aid like Cal Grants.

The ASUC bill is a senate resolution that takes a stance supporting AB 131 but does not implement any policy change, said ASUC Executive Vice President Chris Alabastro. The bill encourages students to call Brown’s office and to attend the University of California Student Association DREAM Act press conference Sept. 12. It also requires that the ASUC President and External Affairs Vice President send the bill and a letter explaining the ASUC’s strong support of AB 131 to Brown.

Co-authored by CalSERVE senators Ju Hong and Sydney Fang, the bill was co-sponsored by Loomba, Freeman, Alabastro, Academic Affairs Vice President Julia Joung, Graduate Assembly President Bahar Navab, as well as every senator present at the meeting.

“By having every senator co-sponsor the bill, we show solidarity for AB 131,” Hong said at the meeting.

On Tuesday, even before the ASUC bill was passed, the ASUC began a campaign to phone the office of the governor to further push him to quickly sign the second part of the California DREAM Act into law, Freeman said at the meeting. So far, UC Berkeley students have made over 140 phone calls through the campaign.

Brown has until Oct. 9 to sign AB 131, which if signed, would take effect Jan. 1, 2013, according to the office of Assemblymember Gil Cedillo, author of the bill.