It was a beautiful day for a party in Madera as the annual "Fiesta in the Park" paid tribute to Hispanic culture, but organizers say the governor's actions over the weekend made the fiesta even more significant this year.
The fiesta is sponsored by Latinas Unidas, an organization that provides scholarships and support for young Latinas seeking higher education.
The organization's president is a retired educator who benefited from financial aid herself.
"It's like putting money in the bank," Dolores Olmos-Rodriguez of Latinas Unidas said. "Yeah, its going to cost them to go to school and stuff. But then they become professionals with skills that they wouldn't be skilled in and they're going to give back to the community."
Under the Dream Act, illegal immigrants will be able to apply for state funded financial aid only after other students have applied.
Still, critics say it undermines the country's immigration laws.
Anthony Avila with the Fresno State College Republicans says it's unfair considering once illegal immigrants graduate they are still ineligible to work.
"I don't feel this is equal treatment," Avila said. "This is not fair to the California taxpayer."