For every action there is a reaction. While Arizona is fighting hard in the Supreme Court with great chances of winning, on its own immigration laws, the State of California is preparing to pass its own immigration bill. But the good news is that the bill is not against immigration but pro-immigration. This is a great move from the California Legislature and our law firm is proud to be in the State of California should this bill be passed.
As most people know, immigration is a federal matter. However, lately many States such as Arizona with the AB 1070, Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and Utah have passed laws authorizing state powers and resources to combat illegal immigration. Many believe that laws such as Arizona “immigration laws” are discriminatory and does not go with the values of the United States. The US Supreme Court has taken the case and is expected to rule on the Constitutionality of the Arizona law around June 2012. Should Arizona be allowed to have its own immigration laws, other States will be allowed to have their own too.
This means California should be allowed to have its pro-immigration bill too! Let us see what happens in the next few months.
California immigration bill
The bill: AB 1544, the California Agricultural Jobs and Industry Stabilization Program
Author: Assemblyman Manuel Pérez, D-Coachella
What it would do: Grant legal work and residency permits to illegal immigrants in California who work in the agricultural or service industries and meet specified criteria, such as a commitment to learning English. The bill would require federal authorization before it’s implemented. It would also require a state report showing there are not enough legal residents to fill open farm and service jobs.
Schedule: Introduced in January, passed through the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee on a 4-1 vote in April; must be approved by an appropriations committee before it reaches the Assembly floor.
Pro arguments: Regularizes a large workforce on which the California economy already depends; reduces burdens on employers and creates a more humane system for immigrants at risk of deportation.
Con arguments: Rewards lawbreakers who are in economic competition with legal workers; conflicts with federal jurisdiction and creates a new bureaucracy; bill goes too far by including the service industries, not just agriculture.