He says he expects California will carve the way for others states to follow.
The California Assembly is expected to pass the bill within a week, and most observers predict Gov. Jerry Brown (D) will sign it because of promises he made during his gubernatorial bid.
The Senate estimates the cost at about $40 million a year. About 40,000 undocumented immigrants now attend the state's three-tiered higher education system, which includes 10 campuses in the University of California, 23 in California State University, and 112 community colleges.
Other immigrant-rights groups say Governor Brown will be in political hot water if he doesn't sign.
"The immigration issue is now being used by both parties, Democrats and Republicans, as a way to win or lose elections," says Randy Ertll, executive director of El Centro de Accion Social in Pasadena. "Tallies are being kept on how certain legislators are voting when it comes to immigration issues, and during campaign time pro- or anti-immigration campaigns are launched to persuade voters."
"Governor Brown will weigh his political future on the California Dream Act," he says.