California Governor Jerry Brown has signed several bills into laws that will immediately benefit undocumented immigrants in the State. The “Trust Act”, probably the most important of the bills, prohibits local and state police from detaining undocumented immigrants solely on the basis of their immigration status as long as the offense for which they are arrested for is non-violent. This is in stark contrast to the program called “secure communities” where the U.S. Government authorized and required local and state police to detain undocumented immigrants.
Another law makes it unlawful for someone to threaten an undocumented immigrant with deportation while yet another law requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants. Lastly, another law allows undocumented immigrants to apply for and receive professional licenses. This means that undocumented immigrants who have graduated from law school and passed the bar examination may receive a professional license and practice law in California.
These laws will allow those who hide in the shadows to come forward and become productive members of the community while, at the same time, jump starting the economy. Congratulations to Governor Jerry Brown and the pace-setter State of California.