With a stroke of a pen, part of California's Dream Act became a reality. The new state law lets college students who are illegal immigrants apply for scholarships that come from private sources.
"This is one piece of a very important mosaic, which is a California that works for everyone, and a California who understands where our strength is," said Brown.
Brown signed the bill at a private ceremony Monday afternoon at Los Angeles City College. Brown was joined by the bill's sponsor, state Assemblyman Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles).
"This is about the children," said Cedillo. "Us as parents and the hopes and aspirations that all of us have for our children."
"It's not a guarantee that we'll get a scholarship but now we could apply for those scholarships," said Anaheim resident Ricardo Muniz.
Muniz is a student at Fullerton College. He was a child when his parents brought him to the U.S. illegally, and like the other students in attendance Monday who share his experience, Muniz says the new state law will help make ends meet.
"It's difficult at times to get the money and manage all that to pay for school," said Muniz.
So with the governor's signature, the law allows students living in the country illegally to receive scholarships from non-state funds.
But critics argue it will encourage illegal immigration.
"I think most of us are concerned about using our taxpayer subsidized college and university system for our own children and our grandchildren, not as an incentive to invite more people to come into the country illegally," said state Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-Twin Peaks).
Brown says the state must invest in its future.
"These kind of bills promote a goal of a more inclusive California and a more educated California," said Brown.