California officially becomes a sanctuary state


Governor Jerry Brown. today signed a package of bills to enhance housing, school, workplace and civil protections for California's illegal immigrants.

"This action protects public safety and ensures hard-working people who contribute to our state are respected.

"These are uncertain times for undocumented Californians and their families, and this bill strikes a balance that will protect public safety, while bringing a measure of comfort to those families who are now living in fear every day," Brown said in statement.

“In enshrining these new protections, it is important to note what the bill does not do,” Brown also said "This bill does not prevent or prohibit Immigration and Customs Enforcement or the Department of Homeland Security from doing their own work in any way.”

On Thursday, Department of Justice spokesman Devin O'Malley declined comment on the agency’s next move. Asked whether the administration would attempt to block the state law, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday that federal officials “are spending every day we can trying to find the best way forward.”

“The president will be laying out his responsible immigration plan over the next week,” she said. “And I hope that California will push back on their governor’s I think irresponsible decision moving forward.”

Governor Brown signed the following bills today, that effectively make California a sanctuary state:

AB 21 by Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) - Public postsecondary education: Access to Higher Education for Every Student.

AB 291 by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) - Housing: immigration.

AB 299 by Assemblymember Ian C. Calderon (D-Whittier) - Hiring of real property: immigration or citizenship status.

AB 343 by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) - Public postsecondary education: holders of certain special immigrant visas.

AB 450 by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) - Employment regulation: immigration worksite enforcement actions.

AB 699 by Assemblymember Patrick O'Donnell (D-Long Beach) - Educational equity: immigration and citizenship status.

SB 29 by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) - Law enforcement: immigration.

SB 54 by Senator Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) - Law enforcement: sharing data.

SB 68 by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) - Public postsecondary education: exemption from nonresident tuition.

SB 156 by Senator Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) - Military and veterans: transition assistance: citizenship.

SB 257 by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) - School admissions: pupil residency: pupils of departed parents: residents of adjoining state or foreign country: school district reimbursement.

Today's signings follow a series of actions by Governor Brown and his administration to bolster resources and support for the immigrant community.

Since taking office, Governor Brown has signed the California Dream Act, which allows top students who are on the path to citizenship to apply for college financial aid and AB 60, which extends the legal right to drive on the state's roadways to millions more Californians.

Governor Brown has also signed legislation to help fund legal services for unaccompanied minors arriving in California from Central America as well as legal services to assist immigrants seeking naturalization and deportation defense; legislation to extend health care coverage and other protections to undocumented children in the state; and a number of other bills to enhance protections for immigrants.

Last year, Brown appointed a director of immigrant integration to serve as the statewide lead for coordinating immigrant services and monitoring the implementation of immigration assistance programs.

Last month, Brown signed legislation to provide $30 million in financial aid for immigrant students and legal services for young people with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status and the administration launched the California Immigrant Guide website to help connect immigrants with resources and services provided by the state.

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