California Legislature Takes Immediate Action to Protect Immigrant Communities

border-immigration(From Press Release) – During today’s start of the 2017-2018 legislative session, the California State Assembly and California State Senate joined together to take immediate action that could inoculate the potential impact of President-elect Donald Trump’s stated plans to deport up to 3 million undocumented residents.

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) and Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) led their respective chambers to adopt identical resolutions that ask the President-elect not to employ a mass-deportation strategy. New bills were also introduced to strengthen due process rights and protections for undocumented residents should President-elect Trump pursue overly aggressive immigration enforcement actions.

SB 6 by Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) would create a state program to fund legal representation for those facing deportation. AB 3 by Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) would create state-funded regional centers to train defense attorneys and public defender’s offices on immigration law and the consequences of criminal convictions.

At a press conference Monday to announce the bills, Senator Hueso, Vice-Chair of the Latino Legislative Caucus, said the measures “send a clear message to undocumented Californians that we won’t turn our backs on them. We will do everything in our power to protect them from unjustified deportation. In California we embrace people of all walks of life who work hard and contribute to our economy and that won’t change now.”

Added Assemblymember Bonta, Chair of the Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus: “Immigration is critical for keeping alive the American dream – a dream that the United States is the land of opportunity for people from all over the world. I’m proud to support a package of bills that protect California’s immigrant population and challenge our society to end policies of profiling and discrimination based on race or religion.”

The resolutions passed by the Assembly, HR 4 and the Senate, SR 7, asked President-elect Trump to abandon his stated plan to deport millions of undocumented immigrants.

“Immigrants are vital to many of California’s industries such as technology, health care, agriculture, construction, hospitality, and domestic services,” the resolutions state. “Immigrants also represent a large percentage of small business owners and create economy prosperity and needed jobs for everyone.”

Undocumented workers make up approximately one-tenth of California’s workforce, contribute $130 billion in the state’s gross domestic product and pay billions in state and local taxes, the resolutions state.

“Immigrants are a part of California’s history, our culture, and our society,” said Speaker Rendon. “They pay taxes, sometimes more than billionaires, and they help drive the engine that makes California the 6th largest economy in the world. With this package of legislation we are telling the next Administration and Congress: if you want to get to them, you have to go through us.”

Senate Leader de León warned that President-elect Trump has previously hailed an Eisenhower-era mass deportation program known as “Operation Wetback” and that California would not return to the inhumane immigration policies of the 1950s.

“It is neither humane nor wise to ignore the many contributions of this community to our economy and culture,” de León said. “California celebrates diversity. We don’t deport it.”

Immigrant rights advocates are praising Monday’s legislative action.

“We applaud and stand with California’s legislative leadership in declaring proudly and unequivocally that California will continue to be a beacon of hope, inclusion, and justice for immigrant communities,” said Stewart Kwoh, President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Los Angeles. “With the resolution and legislative proposals introduced today in the state legislature, California is sending a message to president-elect Trump that we vigorously oppose his xenophobic and bigoted anti-immigrant agenda and we will do everything in our power to defend and protect immigrants.”

Carmen Iguina, staff attorney with the ACLU of Southern California, said California must stand by its “its most cherished values of fairness and due process” and the many immigrants that call California their home. For immigrants facing deportation, having an attorney could mean the difference between being able to stay in the country and being torn from family, community, and the life they have built here.”

“MALDEF supports these bills as critical steps toward protecting those hundreds of thousands of immigrants who daily contribute to the growth, prosperity, and future success of the state of California,” said Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF president and general counsel. “The proposals can help to prevent the disruption of families, communities, and workplaces caused by enforcement activities that fail to recognize the deep and damaging flaws in our current federal immigration laws.”

Added Rebecca DeLaRosa, Interim Executive Director of Latino Coalition for a Healthy California: “With the recent increase in hate crime and cloud of uncertainty our community faces, Latino Coalition for a Healthy California stands in strong support with our California leaders to push for an inclusive policy agenda that protects everyone’s human right to a healthy life with their family and loved ones. No one should live in fear because of who they are. This is the 21st century.”

The Council on American Islamic Relations also supports the measures, said its Legislative and Government Relations Coordinator Yannina Casillas: “The California Muslim community sees the proposed measures as concrete steps necessary to ensure that the rights of undocumented immigrants and vulnerable immigrant communities are protected.”

Jennie Pasquarella, Immigrants’ Rights Director with the American Civil Liberties Union of California, had the following to say: “Now, more than ever, California must stand by its values of fairness and due process, and the many immigrants that call California their home. For many immigrants, AB 3 and SB 6 could be the difference between being able to stay in the country and being torn from their families, communities, and lives they have built here.

“Today, the ACLU is proud to stand with immigrants of all backgrounds to support legislation reinforcing California’s commitment to due process: the idea that everyone deserves a fair hearing, whether they are confronted with a criminal charge or a deportation charge, and that fairness demands that no one confront such charges without the adequate assistance of a lawyer. No one should have to face deportation – including permanent separation from children and families – without a lawyer to defend them.

“We know that, in an immigrant-rich state like California, we all prosper when immigrants prosper. The Legislature’s investment in fairness and due process will no doubt ensure all of California prospers.”

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  1. Tia Will

    I am very glad to see that our own legislators are working early to counteract a promised increase in the deportation of undocumented workers. As someone who has lived in California, New Mexico, and Arizona at various times in my life, I am well aware of the positive effects of these workers on the local economies.

    From my perspective, these workers are necessary for the provision of goods and services that others are not willing to provide, at least at wages that employers are able or willing to provide. Whenever I hear the comment, “they are taking our jobs”, I cannot help but wonder how many jobs working the fields or processing plants, the construction, the nanny and housekeeping jobs the speaker has actually applied for. So what is the balance between positive versus negative contribution that undocumented workers actually make?  From my experience in border towns, urban and rural areas, I would say that their contribution is far, far greater than the detriments ascribed to them and that we have a moral responsibility to help these hard working people keep their families together and the lives that they have worked so hard to build intact.

    1. South of Davis

      Tia wrote:

      > From my perspective, these workers are necessary for the provision

      > of goods and services that others are not willing to provide, at least

      > at wages that employers are able or willing to provide.

      Tia is correct that not many native born Americans of any race will live with a family and be on call 24 hours a day taking care of their bratty kids for $1,000 a month. Living in SF I knew quite a few women who would not be working as MDs, CPAs or VCs if they had to pay two or three native born Americans ~$100K/year to take care of their kids.  With the huge amount you would need to pay to have legal workers on call 24 hours a day  and paying overtime due and all the social security, medicare and other taxes due a lot more working Moms would decide to stay home with the kids (opening up a lot of MD, CPA and VC jobs that Americans would love to have).

      Most illegal aliens/undocumented workers do work hard for low wages but very few of them pay income taxes and/or have health insurance forcing the people working legally and paying for health insurance to pay more in income taxes to make up for the millions that are not paying but still getting government services and health care in the ER rooms around the country. I find it funny that the majority of my left of center friends who always seem to want higher taxes (sales, parcel, income, etc.) also seem to want to let millions more workers who don’t pay most taxes in to the country…

      1. Jerry Waszczuk


        I  am strongly opposing rounding  up people and keep them for month in Detention Centers  than deport them regardless how they got here with exception to  the drug traffickers and other felons .  However, the United States of America is not the European Union without borders and visas where folks from the post-communists countries are the source of  cheaper labor to be  hired in France or Germany . They are all citizens of the European Union which has lot of problems with immigrates from the countries from outside the European Union. I don’t hear much on this forum what  eventually would happen and what consequences America is facing if  the new administration instead of amnesty will carry promised deportation plan and will deport all illegals and protect the southern border  by the sophisticated  wall . Deportation of the estimated 11 million people to deport is the huge large number of people . I think that such operation  could be only comparable to displacement of millions of Native Americans , displacement by  Joseph Stalin  millions of  Germans and Poles after WW II  and displacement of  the  whole Chechen nation which was ordered to deported  by the Soviet Union  Monster -Leader Joseph Stalin during WWII  and his NKVD chief  Lavrentiv Beria

  2. Barack Palin

    create state-funded regional centers to train defense attorneys and public defender’s offices on immigration law and the consequences of criminal convictions

    Do we really want to protect someone that sneaks into our country illegally and commits crimes?

  3. Tia Will


    Do we really want to protect someone that sneaks into our country illegally and commits crimes?”

    I think that due process should apply to everyone.

    But I believe that your point is more nuanced than you are implying. I would say this depends on what those crimes are. If the crime is minor and non violent and the individual is otherwise positively contributing to the economy/society, then my answer would be “yes”. If we are talking about a major or violent crime, they still should have representation so as to fully understand their situation as they are being considered for deportation.


    1. Barack Palin

      So if I sneak into Mexico I should expect to not ever be deported and if I commit a crime I should expect a lawyer to be assigned to me to protect my illegal status?

      This is bonkers.

      1. David Greenwald

        SB 6: fund legal representation for those facing deportation

        AB 3: by Assemblymember Rob Bonta would create state-funded regional centers to train defense attorneys and public defender’s offices on immigration law and the consequences of criminal convictions.

        My question: why are you opposed to due process of law. We’ve seen one of the problems with the immigration law is indefinite detention. This would protect their rights and guide them through the process.

        1. South of Davis

          BP wrote:

          > It’s not a matter of hate, it’s a matter of common sense.

          If I find a neighbor kid in my backyard shed smoking I am going to “take him home” and let his family deal with him and not take the time to figure out if he is “guilty” of breaking the lock on my shed and/or buying cigarettes when he is under 18.  I think the US should do the same and “send people home” who are here and “commit” and/or “accused” of crimes…

  4. quielo

    Maybe Trump will set up federally funded centers to teach people how to evade CA taxes. He could promote federal registration of motor vehicles which would be delivered to federal installations which would eliminate sales tax on cars and vehicle registration fees. that would be very helpful for people in CA.

    Or perhaps he could set up a federal trust whereby you could transfer your house to a federally sponsored trust which would hold it for you and thereby you would not need to pay property taxes.

    1. quielo

      The more I think about it the more convenient I think it would be. With a federal license plate if the local law enforcement agencies wanted to find out who owned the car they would need to get a warrant signed by a federal judge. Red light camera ticket? Fast lane violation? Get a warrant, it’s not the Fed’s job to enforce state regulations. Want to collect sales tax? Get a warrant…

      1. Barack Palin

        You make good points Quielo.  This is a dangerous road that Democrats are embarking on.  Just like Harry Reid doing away with the supermajority vote in the Senate which will now come back to bite Democrats in the ass choosing which laws to obey and which to ignore could also come back to haunt Democrats.

        1. David Greenwald

          You keep ignoring that these laws have nothing to do with ignoring laws to obey – they provide people with due process.

          Basically they are setting up a public defense system for people charged with immigration violations. What you are in effect arguing is that a public defender for criminal laws is choosing which laws to obey and ignore. I find that remarkable.

        2. quielo



          This compete BS “You keep ignoring that these laws have nothing to do with ignoring laws to obey” 


          It has everything to do with not enforcing the laws. it is not just this is the complete lack of information sharing. CA has a list of people who applied for drivers licenses as undocumented. The state may not want to share this. The feds could register vehicles and as part of the commerce clause insert themselves into the interstate payment of sales taxes. They could demand reciprocity of information sharing.

          1. David Greenwald

            That’s nuts, you’re conflating this specific legislation with a whole host of other state actions.

        3. quielo

          “Have we not been ignoring immigration laws in California?” No we have been directly subverting them. The feds may decide to help subvert state laws. No more sales tax from Amazon! Yeah! No more Automobile taxes! No more sending your 1040 into the State with the state tax form. In fact it would be better for me if the state did not have access to my W2 and 1099s at all. Since my employer is not CA based there is not reason they should get that information. They should trust me for it as I came to CA seeking a better life.

        4. South of Davis

          BP wrote:

          > Have we not been ignoring immigration laws in California?

          Most people that employ illegal aliens not only ignore “immigration” laws but a long list of other laws including (but not limited to) “employment” law,  “wage” laws, “tax” laws, “overtime” laws, “healthcare/Obamacare” laws and most “OSHA/Workplace safety” laws.

          As it keeps getting more expensive to “legally” employ people more and more Americans will “illegally” employ people.  Those that don’t want a BIGGER “income gap” and “achievement gap” should take a look at how the increase in illegal aliens in the state has made the rich richer and has been hollowing out the middle class.

          P.S. Remember I’m not some crazy right winger I’m a guy that speaks decent “gringo Spanish” and I’m raising my kids to be 100% fluent in Spanish.  I actually work side by side with both legal and illegal Spanish speakers doing volunteer work.  I don’t want to “punish” or “deport” anyone who came here to make more money and I feel my plan of a little “jail time” for anyone that hires an illegal worker (and evades taxes) will reduce the problem and put a lot of unemployed Americans (of all races) back to work.

        5. quielo

          “you’re conflating this specific legislation with a whole host of other state actions.” well duh…. Can you find anyone who believes they are not related?

  5. Sam

    I seem to remember the last time a group of States decided that they did not agree with the Federal governments decisions and wanted to make their own decisions on how things should be handled. In the end things did not work out very well.

  6. Eric Gelber

    It’s interesting how positions on states’ rights versus federal authority of those on the left and the right can change depending on the issue. On issues like gun control, reproductive rights, voting rights, etc., conservatives take strong state’s rights positions. On immigration, in particular, it’s typically conservatives arguing for federal authority and progressives arguing on behalf of state control. But there are inconsistencies even when it comes to immigration–as in the case of Arizona’s efforts to go well beyond federal law in cracking down on illegal immigration.

    1. Frankly

      Check the Constitution Eric.  It is all explained there.  There is no hypocrisy from conservatives… liberals own it all.  They will ignore laws and demand compliance with laws based on their feelings.

      1. Eric Gelber

        Frankly: Thanks for the gratuitous condescension, but I really don’t need lessons on constitutional law from you. My point wasn’t about hypocrisy but, rather, to point out that the issue of federal vs. state authority is used inconsistently by both the left and right, depending on the circumstances to support respective positions on individual rights.

      2. South of Davis

        Frankly wrote:

        > liberals own it all.  They will ignore laws and demand

        > compliance with laws based on their feelings.

        Eric is correct that most (but not all) conservatives just like most (but not all liberals) change their positions on “states rights” based on if they like what the state is going to do…

        1. Frankly

          Examples?   What federal vs state authority positions do you see those on the right flip-flopping on?

          All I see on the right is consistency.

          But the left lambasts state like Arizona for attempting to implement their state-version of immigration control over the federal jurisdiction, and then applaud California for implementing its own state-version of immigration control.

        1. South of Davis

          Frankly wrote:

          Courts in red states have been working to slow things down for gay marriage, “dreamers” getting in state tuition, abortion providers, people that want to register to vote at the DMV, transgender bathrooms and many other issues the right uses to distract their voter base as they work with their left of center friends to get rich…

        2. Frankly

          I think conservatives are fine leaving these things to the states.   I am open to getting some evidence to the contrary.

          I think the only reason that conservatives end up arguing at the federal level is that there is some federal law forcing states rights over what the Constitution supports.

          The argument I get from liberals over this is that the standard (well, should slavery have remained a state’s right… or how about civil rights?)… but these are fallacious arguments because the founding documents always covered these things.  It is why Republicans were the majority that fought in favor of ending slavery and passing civil rights, while Democrats in those states fought against the changes.

          Again, the claim is that lefties flop to federal and state jurisdiction to push their liberal agenda, but conservative remain consistent in their demand of consistent Constitutional compliance.

          I am still not convinced that there is a moral equivalency here.


  7. Frankly

    Now we understand why we need the electoral college.

    This is a state with a current $400 billion deficit that continues to expand… and this stunt will surely result in federal funding cuts.

    California is controlled by a bunch of petulant children prone to disobeying laws they don’t like and  throwing tantrums over not getting their way in the election.

    What these children don’t admit is that every country they would point to as a model for how the US immigration landscape should be like have a completely different immigrant landscape and/or a much more strict immigration policy.

  8. Jerry Waszczuk

    In this  joint  venture legislative initiative  I don’t see Luis Alejo , the author of AB 60( Driver Licences for undocumented ) , Lorena Gonzales and Freddie Rodriguez who supported in April 2016 the master of deportation the UC President Janet Napolitano’s action against Greek born UC Davis  Chancellor Linda  Katehi. Also the  Assembly Majority Leader  Ian Calderon is not  a participant to shield undocumented residents in State of  California .

    I don’t understand why Dems are so vocal and against deportation now  but  they were accepting  Obama’s  and Napolitano’s deportation machine and on top of this they accepted Napolitano as  the UC President . They all were clapping and cheering her arrival to UC .  I will remind them by  the Twitter about their hypocrisy and 3 million deported.  How it was  even possible  that Napolitano became  the UC President with her RSHA’s  attitude .  Now she is taking about ‘sanctuary campuses” . She is good to run the Detention Centers in State of Arizona for Trump instead of the UC sanctuary campuses .  What a twist in the California  history .

  9. Frankly

    The US has a problem that is directly related to the fact that we have allowed far too many poor and uneducated illegal immigrants into this country at the same time that we have shed manufacturing and working-class jobs.

    We are the only country on the planet that perpetuates this brain-dead thinking that we can just keep accommodating million and millions more.

    I found a picture of this 1923 government poster for Australia:

    Although certainly Australia has grown much more PC these days, they are still determined to control immigration to their country and maintain their national sovereignty.

    Around 1917 this was included in our US statutes restricting immigration:

    All idiots, imbeciles, feeble-minded persons, epileptics, insane
    persons; persons who have had one or more attacks of insanity ..
    . ; persons of constitutional psychopathic inferiority; persons
    with chronic alcoholism; paupers; professional beggars; vagrants;
    persons afflicted with tuberculosis . . . or with a loathsome or
    dangerous contagious disease . . . persons who have been
    convicted of or admit having committed a felony or other crime
    or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude; polygamists . . .
    anarchists, or persons who believe in or advocate the overthrow
    by force or violence of the Government of the United States.

    The US and Australia needed immigrants back then, but even then made sure to apply a filter to reject many of the problems they would otherwise import.

    Now, today we DON’T need any more immigrants, yet liberals basically want to open up the borders and allow anyone in.

    Absurd does not cover it.

    1. Jerry Waszczuk


      I  know US immigration law and restrictions.  However if Dems from  the California legislature believes that  mass deportation is a Human tragedy and violations of Human Rights  that first what they should demand  from Governor Jerry Brown and  from  the Regents of the University of California should resolution  to expel UC  President Janet Napolitano from UC System . Trump did not deport anybody but Napolitano build the deportation machine and deported millions of people including lot of  children . Dems did not say a word about deportation before in such manner as they making noise now .   If Hillary Clinton would won election than deportation would be continued and  the new undocumented would be pouring into the country and  seems to me that deportations  and detention centers are the  big business and job security for lawyers , courts , detention centers  staff etc under Dems doctrines to protect the  borders . What is the point to let the people in ,  let them work  give them legals documents,  like DL than deport them and make their lives miserable.

      1. hpierce

        And teach teach them (all immigrants) English, including spelling and grammar… and require them to learn that as part of becoming citizens … but nah, that would be mean… Some posting here could benefit from that, tho’…

        1. Jerry Waszczuk


          Ok Archie ! Should I understand your statement that you are the supporter of  the massive deportation of the non English speaking population  in the United States and you would deny  US citizen for these who are not fluent in spelling and grammar. You don’t know immigration law .

          English Requirement Exception for Advanced Age
          Two separate rules allow older people to avoid the English requirement. If you are at least age 50 and have lived in the U.S. as a green card holder for at least 20 years when you file your citizenship application, you can have the entire citizenship interview conducted in your native language. (This is commonly known as the “50/20” waiver.) Your 20 years of residence do not need to have been continuous. If you have been away for short periods (fewer than six months at a time, to be safe), that is acceptable, so long as your total time living in the United States reaches 20 years.
          The second rule, known as “55/15” waiver, applies as follows. If you are at least age 55 and have lived in the United States as a green card holder for at least 15 years when you file your citizenship application, you can have the citizenship interview and exam conducted in your native language. Your 15 years do not need to have been continuous.
          If you qualify to have the interview done in your native language, you’ll have to bring your own interpreter—USCIS won’t provide one for you.

    2. Eric Gelber

      Frankly – I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that you advocate returning to the good old days of the exclusionary immigration policies of the 19th and early 20th century. People were excluded based on ideology, disability, race, and ethnicity through outright bans (e.g., the Chinese Exclusion Act) or quotas based on presumed racial hierarchies that favored northern and western Europeans over Asians, and eastern and southern Europeans, including Jews. I guess that’s what some would call making America great again.

      1. quielo

        We should exclude people based on ideology. For example those that want to kill us are better where the are. Why should we not exclude people based on disability.?

        1. Eric Gelber

          quielo – You are in good company. Right wing hate monger Ann Coulter, for example, would also exclude people with disabilities based on the assumption that they are less deserving and a burden on society.

          Explain to the parents seeking to immigrate why they shouldn’t be able to bring their child because he or she is deaf or blind or uses a wheelchair. Explain to Stephen Hawking why he should be excluded.

          As to ideological tests, they go way beyond excluding only people who want to kill us, as if that’s even ascertainable.

        2. quielo


          The election has changed you. Previously you just posted the current philosophy of the democratic legislative leadership. Now you have taken to trying to associate everyone whom you disagree with someone despicable. Take a deep breath, it’s going to be a long four years.

        3. quielo

          Eric, if you read what people wrote rather than reading what you hoped they would write you would find a question rather than a statement “Why should we not exclude people based on disability.?”

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