CA Dream Act

Your story, my story, our movement's story in a book we'll treasure for life. Sticky


Tell us your story, your family’s story, the movement’s story!

Last year as we celebrated the passage of the CA Dream Act and a decade of work since AB540, we decided to embark in an exciting journey to capture and document the history, struggles, and successes from the unique perspective of Wise Up!, CHIRLA, the CA Dream Network, and immigrant youth in a yearbook.

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Freedom Riders and DREAM Activists Panel Sticky


CHIRLA, CA Dream Network and Wise Up! are joining with the Center for American Progress, Center for the Study of Immigration Integration, Campus Progress and Firelight Media to present a panel discussion featuring two groups of amazing student activists.  The Freedom Riders in 1961 came from all over the country into Alabama and Mississippi to challenge segregation in inter-state transit.  They were successful and helped spark changes across the South.  Today, DREAM students are putting their futures on the line, acknowledging they are undocumented, and organizing to change the law and minds.


Join us for the Freedom Riders and Dreamers Panel discussion with Freedom Riders from 1961 and current DREAM Activists from the CA Dream Network and Wise Up! to hear how the struggles compare and what can be learned from a 50 year old student led strategy as we organize for immigrant rights today.

Watch the Emmy Award winning documentary Freedom Riders for free at

LOCATION: University of Southern California (USC) Doheny Library Room 240
DATE: Thursday, December 1st
TIME: 6 pm to 8:30 pm for the panel discussion.  
Registration and snacks start @ 6pm.


Watch Freedom Riders on PBS. See more from AMERICAN EXPERIENCE.

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Gov. Brown Signs AB 131 - CA Dream Act Part 2 Sticky


Today, Saturday, October 8th, Governor Jerry Brown kept his promise to the California electorate and signed AB131, part two of the California Dream Act.

The following is a statement from Angelica Salas, Executive Director at CHIRLA:

"A great day for California, for education, and for immigrant students who have kept their end of the bargain and continue to give their best to the only nation they know as their home.
AB131 opens a small window of opportunity to thousands of students who will continue to prove this nation that in spite of the obstacles they face, they shine like the stars they are. We are all winners with AB131.

We thank Gov. Brown for his signature and we urge him to continue to exercise leadership, courage, and wisdom on behalf of immigrants nationwide.  California can be the firewall to so much anti-immigrant legislation and attitudes and our Governor can be the beacon of hope in the West Coast. We also thank Assemblyman Gil Cedillo for his tireless efforts on behalf of all Californians."

Assemblymember Cedillo stated, “I first want to express my gratitude to Governor Brown who has today given hope and opportunity to thousands of current and future students and their families by signing Assembly Bill 131.   The signing of now both parts of the California Dream Act will send a message across the country that California is prepared to lead the country with a positive and productive vision for how we approach challenging issues related to immigration.”

The California Dream Act was introduced by Cedillo as two bills in January of this year. The first bill AB 130, which was signed by Governor Brown on July 25, will allow students that meet the in-state tuition requirements to apply for and receive scholarships derived from non-state funds. AB 131 would allow students that meet the in-state tuition requirements to apply and receive financial aid at California public colleges and universities. The types of financial aid these students would be eligible for include:

1) Board of Governors (BOG) Fee Waiver
2) Institutional Student Aid: student aid program administered by the attending college or university (i.e. State University Grant, UC Grant) and
3) Cal Grants. These students would not be eligible to apply or receive any Competitive Cal Grants unless funding remains available after all California resident students have received Competitive awards they are eligible for.

The best way to thank Governor Brown for his signature is that you take time today to write a positive statement on his website, newspaper sites and blogs that feature this story so that your comments outweigh the negative comments.  Some sites you can visit include:  Sacramento Bee, Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, San Francisco Chronicle, La Opinion, Washington Post, Washington Times, New York Times, and others similar.  

It’s is important to express our support to the Gov. by ensuring our positive comments are read as well.

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10,500 Signatures in Support of AB131 Sent to Gov. Brown Sticky


Los Angeles - September 22, 2011- The California Dream Network, a project of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, sent Governor Brown today stacks of petitions gathered on totaling 10,500 supporters of AB131, part two of the California Dream Act.  AB131 awaits the Governor’s signature.

“California’s most precious asset is its multicultural population.  An educated workforce represents a prosperous future for us all.  AB131 is representative of forward thinking, practical legislation, and wise investment.  We urge Governor Brown to sign this bill,” stated Angelica Salas, executive director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.  And she added:  “Legislators in the California Senate and Assembly have evaluated the merits of AB131, and now it’s the governor’s turn to sign it into law.  The overwhelming support this bill has received is reflected in the thousands of signatures we are sending the governor’s way.”

Justino Mora, California Dream Network Steering Committee member and E-advocacy Organizer, was actively involved in the development of the petition and postings on Facebook and Twitter.  “A continued investment in the education of thousands of talented and determined AB540 students will provide the competitive edge that California needs to compete in today's increasingly globalized economy. It does not make any sense to shut the doors closed on tomorrow's aspiring doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, and business leaders when we can benefit from their talent.”  Mr. Mora added:  “AB 131 is a common sense piece of legislation that should match Gov. Brown's vision to strengthen California's economy and shorten the expected gap of one million Bachelor's degrees by 2025.”

CHIRLA and the CDN were successful in motivating thousands to sign the petition through the platform.  "We are thrilled to see the level of support that student advocates from the California Dream Network have received for their petition on calling on Governor Brown to sign AB 131 without delay," said Jackie Mahendra, Director of Organizing for "With over 10,000 signatures, the students' campaign is among the most popular on our platform. These dedicated youth have shown through their organizing that the full California Dream Act is a cause worth fighting for, and we hope that the Governor is listening."

A petition in favor of AB131 for professionals has been set up and you can sign it here. 

View live signature totals from the first petition by the California Dream Network on

Jorge-Mario Cabrera
Director of Communications

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DHS Moves a Step in the Right Direction Sticky


TODAY, Thursday, August 18th the US Department of Homeland Security announced it will begin a thorough review of its pending deportation caseload to refocus its enforcement work on high priority individuals. DHS will now consider DREAM Act-eligible youths, relatives of veterans, and other individuals who are currently in the deportation process and who have no prior criminal convictions, non-threatening and will move to dismiss their cases and, on a per case basis, issue work permits. The following is a statement for Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA):

"After two and a half years of pressuring the Administration for key changes and one million deportations later, DHS inched a step closer to more humane, smart, and sensible immigration enforcement. If the process announced today is implemented, we believe hundreds of thousands of honest, hard-working families, including DREAM-eligible students, in deportation proceedings should have their cases stayed. Keeping millions in the darkness without immigration reform or administrative remedy, however, should ease no one's conscience or improve a failed immigration policy. Without necessary reforms such as the elimination of the "Secure Communities" (S-Comm) program, the updates announced today will remain nominal in comparison to the suffering our community is experiencing with the remaining uncertainty and the blind enforcement of our broken immigration laws. 

We celebrate this victory as one gained with much effort and support from allies and community members. Nationwide, a vibrant outcry against S-Comm clearly described it as the lubricant that greases the wheels of the Obama deportation and detention machine. Lots of questions remain unanswered after today's announcement but we will be watching how swiftly specific cases in our community are resolved. It should be noted that a ray of sunshine does not substitute for a life in the shadows. We will continue our work until the president uses his executive discretion or we achieve long-lasting updates to our nation's immigration."


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June 10th Update: Ricardo's Struggle Continues


We want to inform you that Ricardo remains in the US, HOWEVER, the most critical days for him are ahead. A legal effort is underway and his attorney is convinced continued public support (signatures, letters, etc.) is important, now more than ever.  To help Ricardo stay in the U.S., we encourage you to continue spreading the word and ask everyone you know to sign the online petition at: . Ricardo is anxious but marches on with hope; he’s studying, helping out in this campaign, attending volunteer activities, and helping out his family. Please keep those signatures coming because very soon we will need them to support Ricardo’s case. We will be posting updates about his struggle periodically. THANK YOU for your support.


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