California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed two bills last night that would have offered in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens. SB1460, the California Dream act, and AB1413 would have allowed any student, regardless of immigration status, who attended a California high school for at least three years to receive the in-state tuition benefit provided to legal California residents.
For the past several days, NumbersUSA activists in California have been sending faxes and making phone calls to the Governor and state legislators, and their hard work paid off with Gov. Schwarzenegger's veto. He issued the following statement after vetoing the bill last night.
I have always wholeheartedly supported the policy of making higher education opportunities as affordable as possible for all California’s students. Our state’s university and community college systems are amongst the finest in the country and should be made accessible to those seeking a better life through higher education. Unfortunately, given the precarious fiscal situation that the state faces, it would not be practical to adopt a new policy that could limit the financial aid available to students that are in California legally, in order to provide that benefit to those students who are not.
Since the beginning of the year, I have committed to provide the highest amount of funding for higher education, including for financial aid to needy students, that I believe is prudent given all of the competing interest for limited resources. Given the difficult decisions that are yet to be made to enact a state budget, I am still hopeful that the funding level that I have proposed for higher education will still be enacted. However, with that uncertainty coupled with the ongoing fiscal liabilities California will continue to face in the coming years, the State needs to be especially cautious in even considering enacting a measure like this.