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California Voters Expect Hearty Defense of Rights for All

Immigrant rights advocates say public safety and pro-immigrant proposals should be approved swiftly and confidently by Governor Brown and the newly-elected State Legislature

 Los Angeles – The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) called on Governor Jerry Brown and the California State legislature to act swiftly and confidently to pass three pieces of legislation introduced Monday.    The “Safe and Responsible Drivers Act” by Assembly Member Luis A. Alejo (D-28th) seeks to protect California drivers by issuing driver licenses to all Californians.  Mr. Alejo also introduced a resolution in support of a bipartisan agreement in Washington on immigration reform. Assembly Member Tom Ammiano (D-13th) re-introduced the TRUST Act, a measure that mitigates the negative impact of the federal immigration program known as “Secure Communities”.  Although the TRUST Act passed both houses of the state’s legislature, Governor Brown vetoed it in September promising to take on the issue this next legislative session.

The following is a statement by Angelica Salas, executive director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), a regional immigrant and human rights organization with national impact based in Los Angeles.

“Immigrant and Latino voters sent Governor Brown and the new legislature a clear mandate:  get to work on solutions that make sense, move us forward as one united family, and recognize the dignity and basic rights of every man, woman, and child living and contributing to our state’s growth.  California should lead, not follow or backtrack, on basic civil, human, and worker rights protections for all state residents.

In honor of our state’s diverse and multicultural population, we seek no less of a gladiator’s defense by Governor Brown to divisive and counter-intuitive programs such as “Secure Communities.”  While the federal government agrees on a national bipartisan approach to immigration reform and enforcement measures, California must do what it can to shield our families from unfair deportations and further erosion of the trust between local police and the community.  The Governor must sign the TRUST Act as soon as possible.

On matters of public safety, we all benefit when every driver in California is properly trained, has car insurance, and is able to conduct basic errands such as taking a child to school, going to church, or getting to school or place of employment.  A driver license for all in California is not a luxury, but rather a basic necessity that should no longer be denied to a large segment of our population.”

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