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Wins and Losses for Undocumented and Domestic Workers in California

October 7, 2012
Plain English Version

Governor of California, Jerry Brown/Courtesy Los Angeles Times

California Governor Jerry Brown had a busy week. He signed some bills and vetoed two bills affecting thousands of workers and undocumented residents.

The Obama administration has a deferment program letting undocumented young people stay in the country to finish school or go to work. Governor Brown signed a bill that permits those young people to get a driver’s license.

The Governor vetoed a bill ordering California law enforcement to stop helping the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency enforce the Secure Communities Act. The act has sent many thousands of non-criminal undocumented residents back to their home countries.

The Los Angeles Police Chief said his department would not turn over undocumented residents to the federal government who committed low-level crimes.

New York and Illinois limit their state’s role in enforcing this federal law. Arizona and Alabama help support this law.

Governor Brown said some people with criminal records should be deported. He promised to work to create a new bill to replace the one he vetoed.

The governor also vetoed a bill giving basic rights to domestic workers including maids and nannies. An advocate said, “it is a huge disappointment that Governor Brown chose not to recognize the people caring for California’s families and homes as real workers.”

The governor said he wanted to know more about the affect of the law on disabled people and the elderly. New York State has a law protecting those workers. Advocates say too few people know about the law.

The Los Angeles Times

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