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California Again a National Leader on Immigration

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New legislation in CA would stand up to Trump’s deportation vision and promote alternative vision of America that recognizes value of immigrants

Yesterday, California lawmakers unveiled a sweeping set of pro-immigrant policies designed to combat Trump’s deportation plans and stand up for an alternative vision of America that recognizes the value of immigrants and immigrant integration.

“California has long been at the forefront of the country when it comes to advancing pro-immigrant policies and recognizing that immigration is central to the Golden State’s identity, growth and dynamism,” said Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice.  “As the Trump era dawns, California is again providing national leadership regarding how states can stand up to Donald Trump’s deportation agenda.”

As the Associated Press highlights:

“California lawmakers on Monday urged President-elect Donald Trump to refrain from pursuing mass deportations and introduced urgent legislation to fund immigration lawyers and help public defenders protect the state’s immigrants.

Democratic lawmakers also passed resolutions in both chambers urging the incoming administration to uphold a program for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants in the country illegally, despite intense protests from some Republicans.

State Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, introduced a bill to fund lawyers for immigrants in deportation proceedings, while Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, proposed helping public defenders assess the immigration consequences of criminal convictions.

Both measures were marked urgent and aim to protect immigrants in California — which has more than 10 million foreign-born residents — from Trump’s campaign promises of tougher immigration enforcement.

‘This is a salvo, if you will, across the board to make it very clear that these are the values of California,’ Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, a Democrat from Los Angeles, told reporters.”

And the Los Angeles Times notes that State Senator Ricardo Lara is introducing an additional three-part legislative package, called Fight for California:

“‘We’re not going to allow a wall that harms our environment and our economy,’ Lara said in a statement. ‘We’re not going to allow personal data on individual Californians’ religious beliefs to be used to compile an unconstitutional database.’

…He said one bill would mandate a vote of the people to approve any border wall project, which he said would harm California’s environment, including wildlife and river watersheds, as well as the state’s economy, including trade and tourism.

The second bill would prohibit state agencies from providing information to the federal government on a person’s religious affiliation if it is to be used for the purposes of compiling a database based solely on religious affiliation. Lara said the measure would not affect the sharing of information by law enforcement agencies for purposes of national security.

The third bill is a reintroduction of legislation vetoed this year by Gov. Jerry Brown. The measure would prohibit local governments from contracting with private, for-profit companies to detain immigrants for profit and would require detention facilities to meet Immigration and Customs Enforcement minimum health and safety standards, Lara said.”