SACRAMENTO – In action announced earlier today, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed 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 when the legislation was introduced last month with the support of Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and members of the Latino Legislative Caucus.
SB 873 by the Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review 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. Additionally, the Budget Act of 2014 signed today appropriates $3 million to qualified nonprofits to provide legal services for unaccompanied minors.
During California’s Trade and Investment Mission to Mexico in July, the Governor met with Archbishop of Los Angeles José H. Gomez and religious and diplomatic leaders from Mexico and Central America for a wide-ranging discussion on immigration reform and pledged to help with the influx of unaccompanied children migrating to the United States.
For full text of the bills, visit: http://leginfo.ca.gov/bilinfo.html.