CALIFORNIA EXPANDS IMMIGRANT RIGHTS

On October 5, 2013, Governor Jerry Brown signed eight (8) immigration-related bills that expand workplace and civil rights for immigrants.  “While Washington waffles on immigration, California’s forging ahead,” said Governor Brown.

Some of the bills include, AB 524, which enhances immigrant worker rights by making it a crime for employers to induce fear by threatening to report workers’ immigration status.  And, SB 666 which punishes employers who retaliate against workers based on citizenship or immigration status with a civil fine of up to $10,000 and suspension or revocation of their business licenses.

The Trust Act, AB 4—also one of the eight bills signed on October 5—prohibits local law enforcement from turning over individuals to immigration authorities or detaining individuals under an immigration hold if they have not been charged with or convicted of a serious criminal offense.

Additionally, undocumented immigrants can now practice law in the State of California.  AB 1024 was passed in response to the case of an undocumented immigrant who was brought to the United States as a baby and later graduated from a California law school.

These bills come two days after Governor Brown signed the driver’s license bill, AB 60, which allows undocumented immigrants the legal right to apply for a driver’s license in California.  This sweeping legislation is a turn in the right direction for California and the immigrant community.  The bills can be found at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/bilinfo.html

By Monica Guizar | October 8, 2013

Legal Developments