- The Washington Times - Friday, August 26, 2011

Democrats will do anything to pander for Hispanic votes in 2012. They’re even in favor of amnesty and cash handouts to illegal aliens, if that’s what it takes. The latest scheme from California liberals is a move to force over-burdened taxpayers to foot the bill to put illegals through college.

On Thursday, the California Senate Appropriations Committee passed AB 131, which would allow undocumented pupils to sign up for public financial aid at state schools. At the same time, the Golden State’s dire fiscal straits have forced cutbacks in public-education spending for actual citizens.

This particular bill is one of two measures in the so-called “California Dream Act,” a package designed to call to mind the congressional Dream Act which grants citizenship for illegals who go to college.

California’s version makes illegal immigrants eligible for millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded Cal Grants and other forms of financial assistance. The only limit for applicants is that they must have attended state high schools for three years.

The same legislation has passed before, but former Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger terminated the measure. Current Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, however, has said that he would sign the bill.

State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly turned to the Web, appealing to his constituents to call the governor’s office and oppose the idea. The Twin Peaks Republican said in a video that the bill would “take your taxpayer dollars and use them to create an incentive for more people to come to our country illegally because we’re going to pay for their college education. And that just doesn’t make any sense.”

The big spenders in the state Senate don’t have a plan for getting any of the financial aid paid back. The illegals with no Social Security numbers who don’t file taxes have no reason to adhere to a repayment schedule.

Even if they wanted to repay their debt, the state’s unemployment rate of 12 percent makes it difficult even for anyone to find a job after graduation.

California is on the brink of bankruptcy, yet its politicians are more concerned with preserving their own salaries, power and perks of office than doing what it takes to avoid the looming financial collapse. Giveaways to illegals come out of the pockets of hard-working, legal families who have to struggle to pay for college for their own kin.

Mr. Brown should not sign the California Dream Act into law, but if he does, you can bet that illegals all over the country will race to the left coast to get their kids a free college degree.

Come to think of it, maybe that’s the solution for the other 49 states to get the illegals off their dole for schools and hospitals. Send them to California, where they can spend three years in high school and then four years studying fashion design or hotel management - all on the Cali taxpayers’ dime.

Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.