U.S. Law Center

New Californian noncitizen rights cause friction

Many in Riverside may know an undocumented immigrant. This is because illegal immigration is higher in California than in any other state, making immigrants without documentation a large portion of the population. Because of this, reforms to immigration law have been made already. More changes are also being discussed, making immigration law reform a hot topic.

However, some oppose this onslaught of immigration changes. This can be seen in California’s recent attempts to allow noncitizens to monitor election polls, pursue law and sit on juries. One assemblyman has shown concern over the potential addition of these new rights. It is stated that he believes immigrants will have less reason to become a citizen if the benefits of U.S. citizenship are made available to everyone and not just saved for those who have citizenship.

Others argue that legal status should not prevent someone from being able to judge fellow citizens. One professor has commented that the previous limits of immigrants without legal residency are being stretched by these measures. Some believe that to be a good thing and find it to be a progressive approach. It is also reported that legal residency may become a better option for immigrants without documentation if the government is unable to improve the path to citizenship.

Gaining benefits is a struggle that many immigrants will face, have faced before or are currently facing. If you are also currently struggling with issues relating to immigration, you may find it helpful to seek the guidance of an attorney.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “California Gives Expanded Rights to Noncitizens”, Jennifer Medina, Sep. 20, 2013

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