California Lawmakers Fast-Track Immigration Protection Bills

Feb 8, 2017

California lawmakers are expediting three bills in order to shield immigrants from deportation after the election of President Donald Trump.

This bill would make state-funded immigration attorneys available for public defenders to consult with.

Angie Junck of the Immigration Legal Resource Center says it’s a complex area of law that not all defenders are prepared for. Even residents with visas can face deportation after accepting a plea deal on a misdemeanor charge.

"It’s very hard to keep up with it," Junck says. "So we feel there is a great need across the state to be able to resource public defenders who have high-volume caseloads to be able to understand the law and effectively advise their clients."

The measure doesn’t yet specify a funding level, but it passed its first vote without opposition. The committee’s two Republicans did not vote.

The immigration bill is also one of three that Democratic leaders are fast-tracking after President Trump’s election. The other two began advancing through the state Senate last week.

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