This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now:
- California senators advanced three immigration-related bills Tuesday, including a proposal to fund legal aid for immigrants in the state who face deportation .
- What has each member of California's congressional delegation said about President Trump's executive order on immigration? Find out your representative's position here .
- California's congressional Democrats came out forcefully against Trump's immigration directives over the weekend, while Republican members of Congress held their fire .
You can find our December news feed archive here .
In another challenge to the immigration crackdown proposed by President-elect Donald Trump, a California lawmaker proposed Thursday to greatly expand the number of students in the country illegally who can get discounted, in-state resident tuition at state universities.
“Despite national rhetoric, California remains resolute in integrating the most vulnerable into our society,” said state Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), the bill’s author.
A 2001 law provides in-state tuition if immigrants in the country illegally attend three years of school and get a high school diploma. Otherwise, they face more costly tuition charged to students from out of the country.
With a recent spike in unaccompanied minors coming into the country, the new bill would help the young person who arrives at age 16 and can only attend high school for two years, including those who do not graduate.
Lara’s SB 68 would allow two years of community college to count toward the requirement of three years of schooling in California, and will allow completion of an associate degree or completion of a transfer agreement to UC and CSU, instead of high school graduation.
Lara, whose parents were immigrants from Mexico, has emerged as a leading advocate for young immigrants. He believes his bill will help thousands of immigrants in the U.S. illegally to get in-state tuition for their university studies.
“This is another way California will fight Trump and support undocumented students in California as they seek higher education,” said a statement issued by his office.