Volunteers gather signatures to repeal DREAM Act

Individuals working to overturn the California DREAM Act are scrambling to count thousands of petitions by midnight Thursday as the deadline to acquire the signatures necessary to put a repeal of the act on the state ballot fast approaches.

Volunteers at Stop AB 131, a grassroots organization supporting a referendum to repeal the act — an effort spearheaded by state Assembly Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks — must gather 520,000 signatures by Jan. 6 in order to place the referendum on the ballot this November.

Debbie Dobbins, a volunteer at Stop AB 131, said she was confident that the volunteers will meet and exceed the signature quota, aiming to get about 750,000 signatures by the deadline. She said it is typical to aim for a higher amount of signatures than the number required, as counties will sometimes deem petitions invalid upon auditing them.

“It’s kind of like tallying ballots for an election,” she said. “They’re coming in boxes and boxes and boxes.”

Dobbins said people were driving from all around the state to submit their petitions by the deadline. Once the volunteers deem they have enough signatures, she said, they will deliver the petitions to counties to audit them. The counties will then notify the secretary of state, who will help determine whether the referendum will appear on the ballot.

Donnelly said support for the referendum was widespread throughout the state.

“We have high school students coming about against this now,” he said. “Even immigrants are absolutely outraged, they’re off-the-charts upset.”

Assemblymember Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, who wrote the act, said in an October statement that repealing the act would hurt California in the long run.

“Our economy is in need of an educated workforce, and the bill will help us achieve that,” Cedillo said in the statement. “Assemblymember Donnelly’s proposal takes us in the opposite direction.”

But a recent University of Southern California poll found that a majority of registered voters in California oppose the act, and Dobbins said events to get signatures for the referendum were attracting people and volunteers from around the state interested in helping to overturn the legislation.

“There have been gatherings at Walmarts, malls, wherever,” she said. “It’s been very encouraging to see people donate their time that way.”

Damian Ortellado is the lead higher education reporter.

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  • That USC poll is BIASED. It is under-representing California as a whole, people of color did not have much of a voice in it. The majority of people who participated in the poll were old, white and educated, which is why they received a high percentage of opposition.

    • Tony M

      This may come as a shock to you, but not only white folks are opposed to giving taxpayer money to people who are here illegally.

      By the way, your handle fits you perfectly.

  • Immigunts Done Stole Yer Job

    Hatred of the other, stigmatization, scapegoating…
    the politics of fear are on display constantly.

    ‘Even immigrants are absolutely outraged, they’re off-the-charts upset.’
    Sure they are Donnelly and we’ll just take you at your word.
    What a tool.

    • purplefroggie

      This is about money, not race. 

      • Anonymous

        What do you know..you’re friggin’ purple, man.

    • Tony M

      [Hatred of the other, stigmatization, scapegoating…
      the politics of fear are on display constantly.]

      The fact that the state of California and that about a fifth of the working-age population here is unemployed or severely underemployed doesn’t ever seem to affect the conscience of you lefties. The citizen taxpayers of this state have NO legal OR moral obligation to pay for the college educations of people who did not come here legally, so take your pathetic attempt to push a guilt trip on others and shove it…

  • An American

    I was overwhelmed by the number of people who signed the petitions, AND it even included Hispanic’s.

    • A Nontrolling American

      1) There’s lots of Hispanic-on-Hispanic racism. If you actually knew or had spoken to Hispanics you might have encountered this. For example, there’s nothing quite like hearing a Venezuelan go on about how, in his view, every Cuban is a thieving piece of shit.

      2) You don’t know the difference between the plural ‘s’ and the possessive ‘s’, maybe you too benefit from more wide spread access to education.

      • Tony M

        [There’s lots of Hispanic-on-Hispanic racism.]

        Get over the accusations of racism. People who are in this country legally have every right to oppose giving away their taxpayer money to people who aren’t here legally, regardless of race.

    • Come on, Hispanics are also having their wages driven down, jobs, and college places/funding taken -actually more than other races.   A rational person would think Hispanics woud be the ones leading the effort to  stop illegal immigration.

  • Anonymous

    It will be truly extraordinary if this effort succeeds. Almost every initiatives or referendum we get to vote on qualifies by using paid signature gatherers. Referendums are far more difficult to get on the ballot as their incidence and the time line for qualifying them springs from the signing of legislation. Instead of pro-active and planned as is possible with those promoting initiatives, referendums are reactive and require quickly throwing together an organizational structure. Then referendums are given far less time to gather the same number of signatures as initiatives are given. Those considerable barriers is why we have voted on so few referendums relative to initiatives. 

  • Anonymous

    Sign some up at the Home Depot parking lots.