Organize student actions—Demonstrate at your schools and campuses! Circulate the mass petition! Hold demonstrations at your local governor’s office!
* No More Second-Class, Separate and Unequal Treatment for Undocumented Immigrant Students
* Latina/o, black, Asian, Arab, and White, Immigrants With and Without Papers—We Are All Californians!
OAKLAND/EAST BAY – Press Conference and Rally, 4:00 pm (Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza (corner of 14th St. and Broadway, Downtown Oakland) LOS ANGELES – **Note new time** Press Conference at the State Building and present petitions at Governor’s office, 3:00 pm (Ronald Reagan State Building, 300 S. Spring St., Downtown Los Angeles)
Undocumented immigrant students and all who are fighting for our right to equality and dignity are within reach of a huge victory for our movement to win an equal right to public education. The California Dream Act (AB 131) would grant state financial aid for college to undocumented immigrant students, and it now sits on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk. September 9th is the first day Governor Brown has to sign or veto the Dream Act (AB 131). He has between September 9 and October 9 to sign or veto AB 131. We have a very short window of opportunity, and we need to strike while the iron is hot. Organizing massive youth support, independent of the Democrats and Republicans, and building student-led actions that demonstrate the anger, determination, and power of undocumented, Latina/o, and anti-racist youth, is the key to victory.
Governor Jerry Brown promised to enact the California Dream Act when he campaigned to be Governor a year ago. Earlier this summer, Brown signed into law a bill, AB 130, which strengthened the ability of university administrations to raise private scholarship money for undocumented students; however, he is now threatening to veto the bill, AB 131, which would give undocumented students access to state-funded financial aid.
We need to make clear to the Governor that we will not allow him to get away with such a historic betrayal. His promise to enact the California Dream Act when he campaigned for Governor a year ago garnered him massive numbers of votes from Latino communities. Our communities did not vote for Brown in overwhelming numbers based on his promises, only to have him betray them. Our movement must act now.
Brown is citing the tiny cost of AB 131—an additional increase of $30 million to a state financial aid budget of $3.5 billion—as the reason he might veto the bill. $30 million, a mere pittance, is a small price to pay to extend hope, opportunity and a modicum of equality to California’s talented and deserving undocumented students. Undocumented students have been the hardest hit by the barrage of fee hikes that are excluding more and more Latina/o, black and poor students from higher education.
The University of California and its Regents, are autonomous from the state, and can adopt a UC-wide Dream Act now and extend UC’s Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan and other university-based grants to undocumented immigrant students. If enacted, AB 131 and a UC Dream Act would give undocumented students the same opportunity as every other California high school graduate to receive state and university financial aid, such as Cal Grants, university-based grants including UC Blue and Gold Opportunity grants, and community college fee waivers.
Extending these scholarships to undocumented students would establish the principle that undocumented communities can no longer be asked to contribute huge sums of money to the California economy and specifically to publicly-funded financial aid programs, while being denied access to these programs. Passage of AB 131 would clear the way for the fight for undocumented Californians to receive driver’s licenses. It would pave the way to win the Federal Dream Act and a pathway to citizenship, and to finally be in a position to end the inferior, second-class treatment these communities have labored under for too long.
WHAT WE MUST DO TO WIN
Direct mass action by the new student and youth led immigrant rights and civil rights movement will be needed to make Gov. Brown and the UC Regents keep their promises to California’s Latina/o and undocumented communities to open up publicly funded financial aid programs and the equal right to public education to undocumented students.
Sign and circulate the mass petition demanding that the Governor sign the Dream Act and for the UC Regents to pass a UC – wide Dream Act (available on the BAMN website), which is also a pledge to take action. Not only should we circulate it online through Facebook, Twitter, etc., but we should also print out large numbers of paper copies so we can organize massively in our schools, churches, workplaces, and communities.
Take action on September 9th: the Statewide Day of Action to Demand Governor Brown sign the Dream Act — the first day Governor Brown might sign or veto the Dream Act. We need to organize public actions at our schools and campuses on September 9th: hold a press conference at your school or community, hold rallies, marches, or walkouts; hold demonstrations at your local State Building and fill the governor’s office to present the petition signatures.
The angry and determined leadership of Latina/o and immigrant young people is the reason why we have come this close to winning the Dream Act. If we mobilize now, we can win it. Latina/o and immigrant students and youth are the most powerful political force in the nation, especially in California. It was the Latina/o and immigrant young people who led the school walkouts in spring 2006 that inspired and led millions to shut down whole cities across America.
BUILD THE MOVEMENT TO WIN FULL EQUALITY AND DIGNITY FOR OURSELVES, OUR FAMILIES, AND COMMUNITIES—JOIN BAMN
To win the California Dream Act and realize full equality for our communities, we need a new youth leadership. The key to turning history around has always been having leaders who begin from the standpoint, like Martin Luther King, Jr. and César Chávez before us, that we must organize the tremendous collective mass power of our communities. To do this we must speak the plain truth about racism, defend our dignity, and articulate the anger and hope of our communities. BAMN exists to develop young leaders to lead the new civil rights movement. We seek to build a world that is free of racism, sexism, and all forms of bigotry, where borders no longer separate families and can no longer be used to justify racism and discrimination. If you want to be a leader of the new civil rights and immigrant rights movement, join BAMN.
Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrant Rights & Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (BAMN)