Thursday, August 21, 2014
From California Governor Brown:
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and members of the Latino Legislative Caucus today announced legislation to provide legal services to the unaccompanied minors arriving in California from Central America.
“Helping these young people navigate our legal system is the decent thing to do and it’s consistent with the progressive spirit of California,” said Governor Brown.
The legislation provides $3 million to qualified non-profits to provide legal services for unaccompanied minors. In addition, the legislation eliminates any ambiguity regarding the jurisdiction of the state court to make findings necessary to enable the federal government to grant these minors special immigrant juvenile status. This federal status provides for an expedited naturalization process. The legislation also reinforces the court’s authority to provide interpreters to unaccompanied, undocumented minors.
“These young people have legal rights and responsibilities, but they cannot fully participate in complex immigration proceedings without an attorney,” said Attorney General Harris. “It is critical that these children, many of whom are fleeing extreme violence in Central America, have access to due process and adequate legal representation. Read more...