California assembly member Gil Cedillo discusses the trajectory of his ultimately successful California Dream Act, which made undocumented college students eligible for some forms of financial aid.
Upon graduation from high school, undocumented youth who want to pursue college have long found themselves in a precarious situation: unable to afford tuition but also unable to work or receive financial aid. While many have hopes of continuing their education and some are accepted to prestigious universities, these students face significant obstacles to accessing post-secondary education. Since the Supreme Court’s 1982 decision in Plyler v. Doe, undocumented youth have been entitled to a K-12 public education. However, even those who earn high grades and excel in extracurricular activities find it difficult to pursue their academic dreams at the college level.