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California Lawmakers Fast-Track Immigration Protection Bills


California lawmakers are expediting three bills in order to shield immigrants from deportation after the election of President Donald Trump.

On Tuesday, the Assembly Public Safety Committee approved a bill that would make state-funded immigration attorneys available for public defenders to consult with as they represent immigrants who may face deportation.

Angie Junck of the Immigration Legal Resource Center says it’s a complex area of law that not all defenders are prepared for. Even residents with visas can face deportation after accepting a plea deal on a misdemeanor charge.

"It’s very hard to keep up with it," Junck says. "So we feel there is a great need across the state to be able to resource public defenders who have high-volume caseloads to be able to understand the law and effectively advise their clients."

The measure doesn’t yet specify a funding level, but it passed its first vote without opposition. The committee’s two Republicans did not vote.

The other two bills that Democratic leaders are fast-tracking after President Trump’s election began advancing through the state Senate last week.

Ben Bradford

Former State Government Reporter

As the State Government Reporter, Ben covered California politics, policy and the interaction between the two. He previously reported on local and state politics, business, energy, and environment for WFAE in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Read Full Bio 

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