Immigration Laws in California 101
Many people who want to relocate to the U.S. have questions about the Immigration Laws in California. Contact the Law Office of Diana L. Levy, P.A., for answers.
Limits on State and Local Cooperation With Federal Immigration Enforcement
California has implemented several “sanctuary policies” which restrict the extent to which their local law enforcement agencies can cooperate with Federal immigration authorities.
One such policy is reflected in the California Values Act. This Act prohibits state and local law enforcement agencies from using their resources to detain individuals for immigration purposes. They must have a judicial warrant to transfer individuals to federal immigration authorities.
The Act further prohibits the sharing of specific information about people in custody with federal immigration authorities.
These Acts are intended to protect undocumented immigrants from deportation and to build trust between law enforcement and immigrant communities. They remain contentious.
Access to State Benefits
Californian law allows undocumented immigrants to access certain state benefits that they may not be eligible for in other states.
For example, under the California Dream Act, undocumented students can access state financial aid for college and pay in-state tuition rates at California public colleges and universities.
Additionally, undocumented immigrants in California can obtain a driver’s license and are eligible for certain types of healthcare.
Legal Assistance and Advocacy
As an immigrant-friendly state, there is a large network of organizations that provide legal assistance, know-your-rights training, and other support to immigrants.
These groups work to protect immigrants’ rights and push for policies that support immigrant communities. Additionally, California has several public defender offices that provide legal representation to immigrants facing deportation.
California’s immigration policies and practices reflect the state’s commitment to protecting immigrant rights and fostering inclusion.
The New Assembly Bill 1776
Recently, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a local bill known as the Californian ID for all, which will allow everyone, even undocumented immigrants, to obtain a Californian ID beginning July 2027.
Additionally, the bill will allow street vendors to obtain local health permits more quickly. It will also improve immigrant students’ access to in-state tuition at public colleges and universities and English as a Second Language courses at community colleges.