Legislative Update – End of Session 2017

Sunday was the last day for Governor Brown to sign or veto bills that passed the state legislature in 2017. Since December, community members, advocates, and policymakers have worked together to advance many bills which enhance protections for immigrant communities. We have also worked to preserve and defend pro-immigrant policies established in previous legislative sessions.

Thanks to your advocacy and support, the Governor signed many bills, such as SB 54, which advance protections for immigrant communities into law.

CIPC is determined to continue our work with community partners and policymakers to move forward thoughtful, creative, and powerful solutions that reflect our values and protect our communities.

For any follow up questions, please contact our Director of Government Affairs, Ronald Coleman at rcoleman@caimmigrant.org.

For the full list of bills that CIPC is tracking, click here.


AB 3 (Bonta) Stronger Public Defenders Act | Sponsored by CIPC, ACLU of California, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, and California Public Defenders Association

In recent years, increased federal deportation activity prioritizing people with convictions has resulted in the deportation of hundreds of thousands of California residents and permanent separation from their families. This initiative leverages the expertise of qualified nonprofit legal services organizations to ensure attorneys representing non-citizen clients have access to legal trainings and materials so they can effectively navigate the complex nuances of these cases and properly advise their clients. This is critical as many non-citizen immigrants are urgently seeking remedies through the courts to ensure a prior conviction will not lead to separation from their loved ones and deportation.

Status: This bill is no longer moving. The 2017-18 State Budget funding of the “One California” CDSS Immigration Services Funding incorporates a component of the AB 3 concept through expanded legal training and resources for public defenders to properly advise noncitizen clients of deportation consequences.

AB 208 (Eggman) Deferred Entry of Judgement | Sponsored by CIPC, ACLU, CHIRLA, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Drug Policy Alliance and MALDEF

California law provides for deferred entry of judgment for minor nonviolent drug offenses, that mostly involve possession or use of drugs. A defendant is required to plead guilty, waive his or her right to a speedy trial, and complete a drug treatment program. If the program is completed, the criminal case is dismissed. Noncitizen defendants charged with these offenses, including misdemeanors, are often incorrectly advised or believe that pleading guilty with a deferred entry of judgment will not count as a conviction for any purpose. However, under federal immigration laws, post-plea deferred entry of judgment programs, under CA Penal Code are still considered a conviction for immigration purposes, even if the defendant successfully completed the program, the case is dismissed, and the conviction no longer exists under state law. AB 208 would provide pretrial diversion, instead of post-plea deferred entry of judgment, for minor drug offenses. This bill will eliminate unintended federal consequences that flow from minor drug offenses including deportation, and provide greater flexibility for courts. This bill will keep California families together.

Status: This bill was signed by Governor Brown on October 14, 2017.

SB 54 (De León) California Values Act | Author Sponsored

As Californians, we know immigrants are part of the heart and soul of our communities. We believe all Californians deserve to be treated fairly by law enforcement, no matter their background, what they look like, or where they were born. Yet the federal government is persecuting immigrants, pressuring local law enforcement to help deport millions of people. When local police and sheriffs act as deportation agents, that further undermines trust and confidence in law enforcement.

SB 54 will abolish several egregious local deportation practices, among them local police arrests for “civil immigrant warrants,” using immigration agents as interpreters, local police proactively providing personal information to ICE, and the notorious “287g” deportation agreements which Sheriff Arpaio used to terrorize communities. The new law also codifies a prohibition on cruel, costly, and unconstitutional ICE “holds” in local jails. And SB 54 will also help ensure that key spaces like public hospitals, schools, health facilities, and courthouses remain safe and accessible.

SB 54 also places limits on other abuses, such as ICE notifications and transfers that can rip families apart. In improving upon the outdated “TRUST Act” standard with a 15-year washout for certain convictions, the bill takes a step toward recognizing the value of rehabilitation.

We also recognize that California must do much more to embrace the humanity of all who call our state home, including Californians criminalized by racially biased systems of mass incarceration. We will keep fighting to raise the bar for due process and equal treatment statewide. Resources: Read CIPC’s anaylsis of the final version of SB 54. View a chart summarizing key provisions.

Status: This bill was signed by the Governor on October 5th, 2017.

SB 244 (Lara) – The Privacy Protection Act | Sponsored by CIPC and ACLU of California

California has an interest in protecting the private information of residents from inappropriate uses. SB 244 would enhance privacy and confidentiality protections of private information collected by certain state and local databases to ensure that it is only used for its intended purposes. The bill would require that records containing personal information in these databases only be collected, used, and retained for the purpose of assessing eligibility for and providing those public services and programs for which the application was submitted. Further, it would prohibit disclosure of AB 60 driver’s license information from the California DMV database except when a subpoena or court order is issued.

Status: This bill is now a 2 year bill.