‘Dream Act’ Over? Opponents Say Demand For Petition ‘Off The Charts’

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A Southland celebration of the passage of the California Dream Act could be short-lived.

Union members, activists and college students came together at a labor hall in the Westlake district Thursday to celebrate the passage of the bill that gives children of illegal immigrants access to state college aid.

But even as supporters are claiming a political victory, one Pasadena group is already moving to repeal the measure.

The voters hope to collect enough signatures that could lead to a repeal of the controversial measure by putting the issue on the 2012 ballot.

“People want to sign this,” said state Assemblyman Tim Donnelly. “They’re coming up to petition gatherers and they’re saying, ‘Do you have the Dream Act petition’?”

Donnelly, who is the author of the proposed ballot initiative, said the opposition isn’t just limited to local voters.

“All across the state, we can’t keep up with the demand, it is absolutely off the charts,” he added.

Labor leaders, however, were quick to voice their support for what critics have said is a financial giveaway at a time the state is in desperate need of cash flow.

“We stand with the young people to be able to have a right to higher education regardless of their immigration status,” said Maria Elena Durazo of the L.A. County Labor Federation.

Petitioners have already distributed over 100,000 petitions, Donnelly said. They need to collect over 500,000 signatures by Jan. 6 to get the initiative on the ballot.


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