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It’s 2018 and laws are changing, especially on the topic of immigration. Immigration has always and will always be a controversial topic to discuss, which shows in the back and forth of the laws. There were a few changes made to immigration laws in California that went into effect on January 1st. There are changes regarding law enforcement, landlords and tenants, and the workplace. We will try to explain these new California immigration laws for 2018 as simply as we can, and also remind you of some other immigration laws to keep in mind.

The first thing to know about immigration in 2018 is this, California is now a “Sanctuary State”. Law SB 54 passed the state Legislature in September of 2017, and was signed by California Governor Jerry Brown the following month. The main purpose of this law is to prevent law enforcement from asking people about their immigration status, or participating in most federal immigration enforcement actions. The law also largely prohibits state and local law enforcement agencies, including school and security officers, from using money or staff to investigate, question, hold, or arrest people for immigration violations. The law is really meant to make a clear division between the local law enforcement and the federal immigration authorities. This is meant to ensure that local law officials do not become part of deportations efforts, which are meant to be handled at a federal level.

Along with becoming a sanctuary state, there were also some other changes made to immigration laws. One of these changes involving law enforcement, California now prohibits state or local law enforcement agencies from the following action:

  • Detaining an individual on a hold request from the federal government unless there is a felony or a warrant
  • Transferring undocumented immigrants into federal custody unless they’ve been convicted in the last 15 years of a crime that is one of the listed offenses on California’s Trust Act or the individual is a registered sex offender
  • Asking about a person’s immigration status or sharing any information with federal immigration authorities that is not available to the general public.

Another one of these immigration changes is that landlords cannot report their tenants immigration status, and also cannot use immigration status to leverage to evict them. The last change that was made takes place in the workplace Law AB-450 bans employers from consenting to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) workplace inspections without a warrant. Also, an employer has to let an employee know within 72 hours of receiving a federal inspection notice.

There are always immigration laws that sometime slip our mind, or that we forget completely. We want to help educate you on some of these laws and rights.

  • Illegal immigrants cannot receive public services such as welfare. However, they do receive services that are “necessary to protect life and safety,” such as emergency services.
  • Undocumented immigrants can deny law enforcement officers entry into their house unless they have a valid search warrant or have been given explicit consent.
  • All children, regardless of immigration status, are entitled to free public education.

These changes are still new and many do not know them quite yet. However, it is extremely important to keep up on immigration laws and know the rights of undocumented immigrants. If one of your loved ones needs to be bailed out due to an immigration status, call us now so we can help you.