California Governor Gavin Newsom Signs Four Bills to Prevent Discrimination, Foster a More Inclusive State

Governor signs SB 225 so all Californians have the opportunity to give back by serving on boards and commissions

Governor also signs AB 668 to protect access to courthouses and AB 1645 to ensure DREAM Act students have the ability to succeed in higher education

Governor signs AB 1747 to prohibit the misuse of Californians’ personal information for immigration enforcement purposes

Legislation builds on state’s policies and investments to support immigrant families, asylum seekers and create opportunity for all Californians regardless of immigration status

SACRAMENTO, CA (STL.News) Building on the state’s efforts to support its immigrant communities, California Governor Gavin Newsom Saturday signed a package of bills to help foster a more inclusive state and create new opportunities for immigrants to contribute to our society.

“Our state doesn’t succeed in spite of our diversity – our state succeeds because of it,” said Governor Newsom.  “While Trump attacks and disparages immigrants, California is working to ensure that every resident – regardless of immigration status – is given respect and the opportunity to contribute.”

SB 225 by Senator Maria Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles) allows noncitizen Californians the ability to pursue civic engagement and public service through service in boards and commissions. The Governor’s signing statement on this bill can be found here.

The Governor announced signing AB 1747 by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), which prohibits the use of noncriminal information from the state’s telecommunications database for immigration enforcement purposes, with some exceptions.  Another bill by Assemblymember Gonzalez, AB 668, was signed to codify the common law privilege against civil arrest when that arrest is conducted without a judicial warrant.

The Governor also signed AB 1645 by Assemblymember Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) to require that California Community Colleges and California State Universities, and request that the University of California, designate a Dreamer Resource Liaison on campus to provide undocumented and other qualifying immigrant students with adequate support and resources to help navigate the education system.

California’s budget invests $25 million for a Rapid Response Program to assist qualified entities in providing critical assistance to migrants during emergent situations when federal funding is not available.  This investment supported the opening of a new migrant family shelter in San Diego earlier this year.  The budget also includes a total of $65 million to support qualified nonprofit organizations that provide a broad array of immigration services to low-income Californians, including a new pilot program to support family reunification and immigrants applying for humanitarian protections in California.  The Governor also expanded health care access to undocumented young people and financial assistance for eligible immigrant students.

Throughout his nine months in office, the Governor has repeatedly stood up against President Trump’s hateful rhetoric and actions targeting migrants and the immigration system.  He sharply rebuked President Trump’s comments that “we should get rid of the whole asylum system,” cut humanitarian aid in Central America, and raid communities to conduct mass deportations of undocumented immigrants.  In stark contrast to this fearmongering, the Governor in January redirected the National Guard from the border to do critical fire mitigation work – addressing a real crisis in the state.  He also travelled to El Salvador to examine the root causes of migration, where he endorsed H.R. 6, the Dream & Promise Act. California has also led the fight against the President’s attempts to target the health and well-being of immigrant families by leading a lawsuit against the “public charge” rule and the proposed citizenship question on the 2020 census.

Previously, the Governor signed AB 917 (Reyes) which expedites the victim certification process for the purposes of obtaining T-Visas or U-Visas. He also signed AB 540 (Limón), which establishes the Cal Grant B Services Incentive Grant Program, and SB 354 (Durazo) which expands eligibility for the California DREAM loan program.