California’s Sanctuary Cities – Protecting the Immigrant Community
Times of Uncertainty for Immigrants
From its very inception, the Trump campaign focused on immigrants and deportation. When Donald Trump won the election on November 8, uncertainty rocked the immigrant community of the United States. The incoming Trump Administration promised to tighten up immigration laws and to deport the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently residing in the United States.
While there certainly is cause to worry about change to immigration procedures under the Trump Administration, there is hope for immigrants. Several cities across the United States label themselves as ‘sanctuary cities.’ These safe havens protect immigrants by barring city officials and police from asking questions regarding immigration status. They also prohibit withholding benefits or services based on immigration status. California boasts of three major sanctuary cities – San Francisco, Los Angeles and Sacramento. Following the election, these cities reaffirmed their statuses as sanctuary cities and allies to the immigrant community.
Legal Assistance for the Immigrant Community in California
In Los Angeles, city and county officials unveiled a plan to provide a $10-million fund to help immigrants access legal assistance in anticipation of the Trump Administration’s crackdown on immigration. Some of the funds (approximately $5 million) would come from the city and county general fund while the rest of the funds would be donated by organizations like The California Endowment—which plans to provide $2 million towards the fund. Many immigrants do not fight their immigration cases because they cannot afford quality legal representation. Some immigrants fall victim to unscrupulous attorneys.
There are two similar bills pending in the California State Legislature. Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) is pushing a bill that would create state-funded centers to train attorneys on immigration law. Earlier this month, Sen. Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) introduced legislation aimed at creating a state program to assist those facing deportation pay for legal representation.
Hope in the Face of Uncertainty
Seeing what is happening in Los Angeles and throughout our state, will Sacramento become the next city to provide immigrants assistance in seeking legal representation? In the face of uncertainty, we remain hopeful that it will.
Contact Sacramento’s Immigration Attorneys
If you are uncertain about your immigration status or would simply like to discuss your case, please contact us.
By: Jennifer Chavez
*The information provided in this post does not constitute legal advice or opinion. The information is for guidance purposes only. Individual situations vary and you should contact us for a consultation. Carson & Kyung, Sacramento’s Immigration Attorneys on California’s Sanctuary Cities – Protecting the Immigrant Community.