As a Californian, the recent spate of undocumented immigrant deportations undoubtedly distresses you greatly. California has long been a champion of undocumented immigrants. and many California cities call themselves “sanctuary cities,” meaning that they try to protect their undocumented residents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials arresting and deporting them.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the California legislature passed a “sanctuary state” bill last fall that Governor Jerry Brown signed into law on Oct. 5, 2017. This law, dubbed the California Values Act, is the most comprehensive set of protections that any state has so far granted to its undocumented residents. Senator Kevin de León, Democrat from Los Angeles, declared at the time: “This is a measure that reflects the values of who we are as a great state.”
Provisions of the new law
If you are an undocumented California resident, you will appreciate the protections California’s new law gives you. For instance, California’s Secretary of State must create recommendations that limit the amount of personal data that ICE officials and others can obtain.
If and when you are incarcerated for an immigration violation, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation must create new standards to protect you while you are in jail. In addition, they must give you credits against your sentence whenever you successfully complete an educational and/or rehabilitation program while incarcerated.
Another key provision of the California Values Act is that schools, hospitals and courthouses are now considered safe zones. ICE and other federal officials cannot arrest you there for an alleged immigration violation.
If you are one of the 2.3 million undocumented California residents, the California Values Act should make your life easier and less stressful. This information is for educational purposes only; you should not interpret it as legal advice.