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Laws of Resistance Aim to Shield California’s Immigrants

Co-published by International Business Times
The California legislature has responded to the Trump administration’s mass deportation plans with a number of bills that attempt to shield undocumented Californians from the effects of federal immigration policies.




Photo: Joanne Kim

Co-published by International Business Times

The California legislature has responded to the Trump administration’s mass deportation plans with a number of bills that attempt to shield undocumented Californians from the effects of federal immigration policies. Below is a summary of some of the immigration-related legislation to be considered before September 15, the last day the legislature can approve bills. October 15 is the governor’s deadline to sign or veto this year’s measures. (See main article on Senate Bill 54.)

Senate Bill 6Due Process for All Act
Introduced by Senator Ben Hueso
(Principal coauthor: Senator Kevin De León; coauthor: Senator Bill Dodd; Assembly coauthor: Anthony Rendon)

Allocates $12 million to the Department of Social Services to provide legal services to people facing deportation. The bill also creates the California Universal Representation Trust Fund for donations to provide additional legal help for those in immigration proceedings.

Passed the Senate 28-11, and has been referred to the Assembly Judiciary and Human Services committees.

Senate Bill 30California-Mexico border: federally funded infrastructure.
Introduced by Senator Ricardo Lara
Bars the state from awarding or renewing any contract with anyone who, on or after January 18, 2018 has provided goods and services to the federal government’s border wall project.

Approved in the Senate 23–16. Referred to Assembly Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review.

Assembly Bill 450Protecting Immigrant Workers from Worksite Raids Act
Introduced by Assembly Member David Chiu
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Rob Bonta, Cristina Garcia, Gonzalez Fletcher, Miguel Santiago, and Phil Ting; Senate coauthor: Scott Wiener)

Would prohibit an employer from allowing federal immigration agents inside non-public areas of a workplace without a warrant, but with certain exceptions.

Passed the Assembly 50-24, in Senate Appropriations Committee.

Assembly Bill 638Immigration consultants.
Introduced by Assembly Members Anna Caballero and Gonzalez Fletcher
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Mike Gipson; Senate coauthor: Scott Wiener)

Makes it illegal for anyone other than a licensed attorney to act as an immigration consultant. However, paralegals would still be allowed to charge for assisting with Dream Act or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival applications.

Passed the Assembly 52-21 and is now with Senate Appropriations Committee.

Senate Bill 29
Introduced by Senator Ricardo Lara

Prohibits California cities, counties and local law enforcement agencies from contracting with the federal government to house undocumented immigrants in detention facilities, beginning Jan. 1, 2019. Until 2019, detention facilities would be required to adhere to specific standards. All detention facilities would be subject to the California Public Records Act. Passed Senate 26-13. In Assembly Appropriations suspense file.

Assembly Bill 222
Introduced by Assembly Member Raul Bocanegra
(Coauthors: Assembly Members David Chiu, Cristina Garcia, and Jose Medina)

Would repeal the section of Proposition 187 that makes it a felony to manufacture or distribute false documents to conceal one’s immigration status. Much of Proposition 187, which would have barred undocumented immigrants from many public services, was held to be unconstitutional after it was approved by California voters in 1994. The state’s voters would have to approve the repeal provided for in this bill through the November 2020 election.

Passed the Assembly 53-23, is in Senate Appropriations Committee suspense file.

Assembly Bill 291
Introduced by Assembly Members David Chiu, Rob Bonta, Gonzalez Fletcher and Ash Kalra
(Principal coauthor: Senator Scott Wiener; Assembly coauthors: Richard Bloom, Kansen Chu, Eduardo Garcia, Kevin Mullin, Miguel Santiago and Phil Ting; Senate coauthor: Travis Allen)

Would make it illegal for landlords to cause a tenant to move or to evict a tenant because of immigration status. Landlords would also be barred from threatening to disclose information about a tenant’s immigration status to force them to move, or to harass or intimidate a tenant for exercising his or her rights. It would also be illegal for a landlord to disclose a tenant’s immigration status to any law enforcement agency, immigration authority or any local, state or federal agency without a court order or subpoena.

Passed the Assembly 54-17, and the Senate Judiciary Committee 5-2.

Assembly Bill 699
Introduced by Assembly Members Patrick O’Donnell and David Chiu
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Tom Daly, Cristina Garcia, Mike Gipson, Todd Gloria and Miguel Santiago; Senate coauthor: Tony Mendoza)

Makes it illegal for public schools to discriminate against students based on immigration status. Would prohibit schools from collecting documents or information about immigration or citizenship status, and would bar immigration agents from entering schools without valid identification, a written statement of purpose, a judicial warrant and approval from the superintendent of schools or charter school principal.

Assembly Bill 3Public defenders. Legal counsel. Immigration consequences. Grants.
Introduced by Assembly Member Rob Bonta
(Coauthors: Assembly Members David Chiu, Susan Eggman, Cristina Garcia, Marc Levine, and Anthony Rendon; Senate coauthors: Travis Allen, Kevin de León, and Ben Hueso)

Provides funding for training public defenders on the immigration consequences of criminal convictions.

Passed the Assembly 53-24, referred to Human Services and Public Safety committees.

Assembly Bill 493
Introduced by Assembly Member Reggie Jones-Sawyer

Would prohibit a police officer from turning over witnesses or crime victims to immigration authorities when such individuals aren’t charged or convicted for any crime

Passed the Assembly 69-1, and Senate unanimously.

SB 31: California Religious Freedom Act
Introduced by Senator Ricardo Lara
(Coauthors: Senators Joel Anderson, Bill Dodd, Robert Hertzberg, Bill Monning, and Scott Wiener; Assembly coauthors: Richard Bloom, Rob Bonta, David Chiu, James Gallagher and Cristina Garcia)

Would prohibit state and local authorities from cooperating with federal government attempts to create a Muslim registry. Bars the state from making state databases available to the federal government or sharing information about a person’s religious beliefs, except in a targeted investigation. Prohibits state cooperation with any federal requirement that people register with the federal government based on religion, ethnicity or nationality.

Passed Senate 36-0, in Assembly suspense file; active.

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