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California offers new protections to undocumented immigrants

Undocumented immigrants in California’s Orange and Riverside counties play an important role in the state’s economy and social infrastructure. Unfortunately, they are often denied some of the basic rights that a U.S. citizen typically enjoys, such as access to affordable health care. Although states are not able to circumvent U.S. Immigration law, California continues to pass legislation that promotes a better way of life for foreign nationals within its borders.

New measures recently signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown include many reforms that give immigrants basic legal protections. These include ensuring that immigrants who become involved with the courts are provided with correct legal information. Another bill prevents some who do not have legal status, and who have served time for a criminal charge, from suffering further punitive actions.

Other new laws offer protections specifically to young immigrants, preventing federal officials from obtaining their confidential records and providing humanitarian relief to many undocumented minors. This is especially crucial since so many children living in California have parents who are not in the country legally. These policies have the potential to strengthen the state by offering equal rights to those who represent a significant demographic within the workforce and the community as a whole.

Many families in California have one or more members who are U.S. citizens, or have the proper documentation, and staying together is their primary focus. Whether immigrants are in the United States without proper documentation because of an expired work visa or some other reason, there may be options available to them. An immigration attorney in California may be able to provide assistance in securing justice.

Source: Huffington Post, “On Immigration Reform, California Issues a Bold Message,” Angie Junck, Oct. 21, 2015

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