California Leads the Way in Protecting Immigrants Under a Trump Administration

Asian Americans Advancing Justice – California held a press conference in the City of Rosemead with legislative leaders and community partners today. (Image Credit: Keyang Pang)

Rosemead– Asian Americans Advancing Justice – California (Advancing Justice-CA) held a press conference in the City of Rosemead with legislative leaders and community partners today, celebrating a landmark year of legislative wins and the great progress that was made for and with California’s immigrant communities. Advancing Justice-CA’s legislative priorities focused on resisting the federal targeting of vulnerable communities and protecting and advancing the rights of immigrants. These critical victories make California a safer and more just democracy for all.

Amid an increasing number of xenophobic policies from the federal government, Governor Brown has signed into law a number of bills to enhance housing, school, workplace, and civil protections for California’s immigrants, including four key bills championed by Advancing Justice-CA. The Advancing Justice-CA priority bills create sanctuary space in key public facilities and schools (SB 54 – California’s Values Act, AB 699 – Safe Schools for Immigrant Students), protect Muslims from any potential federal registry (SB 31 – Religious Freedom Act), and expand voting access for limited-English speakers (AB 918 – California Voting for All Act).

Stewart Kwoh, president and executive director at Advancing Justice-LA. (Image Credit: Keyang Pang)

Advancing Justice-CA’s end-of-year report highlights these key bills and new protections that immigrant communities can count on due to the legislative victories.

“Advancing Justice-CA is proud to be part of the California resistance,” says Advancing Justice-CA Policy Manager Andrew Medina. “This past legislative session, we countered the federal attacks on immigrants by enacting landmark legislation to uphold our values of inclusion, diversity, and equity. These are tremendous victories for immigrant communities and will help to ensure that all Californians, no matter where they are from, are treated fairly.”

“With AB 918, Californian voters, no matter their English language skills, are able to cast an informed ballot — a right guaranteed to every U.S. citizen,” says Michelle Lim, Voting Rights Policy Advocate at Advancing Justice-LA. “AB 918 opens the doors for limited-English proficient and immigrant voters to fully access their vote and participate in our democracy.”

“California sends a message that we will uphold every student’s constitutional right to a public education regardless of immigration status with the Governor’s signing of AB 699,” says Advancing Justice-LA Policy Director Betty Hung. “AB 699 helps to ensure that ICE stays out of public schools and that schools are safe learning environments for all students.”

“History has shown that registries based on religious affiliation and national origin are ineffective law enforcement and anti-terrorism tools,” says Asmaa Ahmed, CAIR-LA’s Policy and Advocacy Coordinator. “The passage of SB 31 is a direct response to the Trump Administration’s hateful and xenophobic policies towards the Muslim American community and ensures California will not take part in any Muslim registry.”


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