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California Dream Act foes' petition drive falls short

They were seeking to ask voters to repeal measure allowing undocumented immigrants access to financial aid at UC, Cal State and community colleges.

January 07, 2012|By Nicholas Riccardi, Los Angeles Times
  • Jonathan Luna, left, and Yohana Hinojosa participate in a rally supporting the California Dream Act last year.
Jonathan Luna, left, and Yohana Hinojosa participate in a rally supporting… (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles…)

Reporting from Sacramento -- Critics of illegal immigration announced Friday that they were unable to obtain the needed 500,000 petition signatures to ask voters to repeal the California Dream Act.

The two-part measure, which allows undocumented immigrants access to both public and private financial aid at UC and Cal State campuses and at community colleges, was signed into law last year by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The failure "is disappointing news," said Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-San Bernardino), the public face of the initiative drive, in an email to supporters.

But he added, "It is no less of a warning to Gov. Brown, and every Democrat legislator who voted to create a new entitlement program for illegals while the state still has a budget deficit over $9 billion, and cannot even meet it's obligation to legal California students."

It was a rough week for Donnelly, the Assembly's only tea party member. On Wednesday, he was detained by Ontario airport police for trying to take a loaded handgun in his briefcase through the security checkpoint. Donnelly said he had forgotten the weapon was there.

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