Monday, September 29, 2014
Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill to help fund lawyers for unaccompanied children in immigration proceedings. The legislation signed over the weekend appropriates $3 million to qualified nonprofit organizations to help represent unaccompanied minors in deportation proceedings. The move follows a reported increase in the number of unaccompanied Central American children arriving on the U.S.-Mexico border.
UPDATE (Sept. 30, 2015): Governor Brown also signed into law two other immigration-related bills. One bill creates the State Dream Loan Program, which will provide $9.2 million for state public universities to administer loans to undocumented students. Another bill signed by Brown, Senate Bill 1159, will allow undocumented immigrants to apply for professional state licenses to work as doctors, dentists, nurses and in other professions. This builds on legislation signed into law last year that allows undocumented immigrants to be licensed to practice law, a response to teh case of Sergio Garcia pending in the California Supreme Court.
In 2011, Brown signed the California Dream Act into law, allowing undocumented children brought into the U.S. under the age of 16 to apply for student financial aid. Last year, Brown also approved a controversial bill that will grant driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants.