I never thought I’d be quoting California governor Jerry Brown but in some rare good news for immigration reform, he signed into law sweeping new reforms yesterday. Here are the major reforms, set to go into force in January 2014:
1. “Immigrants in this country illegally would have to be charged with or convicted of a serious offense to be eligible for a 48-hour hold and transfer to U.S. immigration authorities for possible deportation.”
2. “Undocumented immigrants can be licensed as lawyers.”
3. “It will be a crime for employers to “induce fear” by threatening to report a person’s immigration status and allow for the suspension or revocation of employers’ business licenses if they retaliate against employees because of citizenship or immigration status.”
4. “There will be a new policy to allow people to apply for driver’s licenses regardless of immigration status.”
The article goes on to not that while many other states have enacted similar reforms, the impact of California’s actions could be especially dramatic since nearly 20% of illegal immigrants in the US are thought to reside there.
It’s nice for a change to wake up to some good news about government action.