State Legislative Priorities – 2017

California is home to one of the largest and most diverse immigrant communities in the country. Nearly one quarter of the nation’s foreign-born residents currently live in California, and immigrants comprise over 30% of the population in at least eight California counties.[i]

We see an urgent need for the state of California to protect our communities as the new federal administration ramps up deportations and pours millions of dollars into immigration enforcement.

Detention and deportation have detrimental impacts on the financial, educational, physical and mental wellbeing of our communities. More importantly, they go against our values for freedom, dignity, the right to move, and family unity. 

Immigrants in deportation proceedings are often forced to navigate one of the most complex legal systems without the assistance of a lawyer, and they are locked up in detention facilities without due process.

Pangea Legal Service’s 2017 state policy priorities reflect our desire to safeguard our communities from detention and deportation by 1) expanding access to legal counsel and 2) reforming immigration enforcement & law enforcement collaboration.


expanding access to counsel


We strongly disagree with recent amendments to the proposal that limits access to justice for individuals with criminal convictions.

Due Process for All Budget Proposal

The Due Process for All Budget Proposal will create a state-funded program that provides access to qualified counsel to immigrants in removal proceedings.


AB 3 (Bonta) – Stronger Public Defender Act

The Stronger Public Defender Act will provide state funding to create Regional Centers & Statewide Resource Centers for public defenders to gain immigration expertise. Regional Centers will provide legal training, written materials, mentoring, and technical support to public defenders’ offices on issues relating to the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. Statewide Resource Centers will provide Regional Center and public defenders’ offices with ongoing training, written materials, technical assistance, and mentoring.


AB 386 (Gonzalez Fletcher) – Legal Services for Deported Veterans

The Legal Services for Deported Veterans Act will provide legal representation to deported veterans to allow them to explore options to return to the U.S. A veteran Reentry Fund will be created to continue funding these legal services in California.


Reforming Immigration Enforcement & Law Enforcement Collaboration


We strongly disagree with recent amendments to the bill that permit collaboration with ICE for individuals with criminal convictions.

SB 54 (de Leon) – California Values Act

The California Values Act will protect the safety & well-being of all Californians by ensuring that state & local resources are not used to fuel federal mass deportations, separate families, or terrorize communities. The bill will provide essential safeguards to ensure that police, schools, health facilities, courts and the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement remain accessible to Californians from all walks of life and that California’s limited resources are directed to matters of greatest concern to state & local governments.


SB 29 (Lara) – Dignity Not Detention

The Dignity Not Detention Act will prohibit private, for-profit companies from operating immigration detention facilities in California; and require all other detention facilities to uphold the Immigration & Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) 2011 Operations Performance-Based National Detention Standards to ensure that the essential health & rights of detainees are protected.




AB 450 (Chiu) – Protect Immigrant Workers from Worksite Raids

The Protect Immigrant Workers from Worksite Raids Act will protect workers and employers by: (1) providing clear guidelines for employers during worksite raids; (2) requiring a judicial warrant to enter a worksite for enforcement purposes; (3) requiring a subpoena to review confidential employee information; (4) requiring notification of a worksite enforcement action to the Labor Commissioner, the employee, and the employee representative; and (4) allowing the Labor Commissioner to certify that a worker is critical to the investigation or prosecution of a labor claim.


SB 31 (Lara) – California Religious Freedom Act

The California Religious Freedom Act will prohibit a state or local agency from providing or disclosing to federal authorities personally identifying information regarding a person’s religious affiliation when the information is sought for compiling a database of individuals based on religious affiliation, national origin, or ethnicity. SB 31 also prohibits state & local law enforcement from collecting information about an individual’s religious beliefs or affiliations, except under certain circumstances.


SB 239 (Wiener) – Modernizing California HIV Criminalization Act

The Modernizing California HIV Criminalization Act will incorporate current scientific understanding of HIV to address exposure to HIV in the same manner as exposure to other serious communicable diseases, and to eliminate extra punishment for people living with HIV who engage in consensual sexual activity.


SB 244 (Lara) – Privacy Protection Act

The Privacy Protection Act will protect the personal information of all individuals that is collected or obtained by state and local agencies for administration of public programs.