BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    




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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                        SJR 28|
          |Office of Senate Floor Analyses   |                              |
          |(916) 651-1520    Fax: (916)      |                              |
          |327-4478                          |                              |
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                                    THIRD READING


          Bill No:  SJR 28
          Author:   Lara (D), et al.
          Introduced:8/23/16  
          Vote:     21  

           SUBJECT:   Immigrant children:  legal representation


          SOURCE:    Author


          DIGEST:          This resolution urges the federal government to ensure  
          that immigrant children are afforded due process under the law  
          in removal proceedings by providing government-funded attorneys,  
          trained in immigration law, to all indigent children seeking an  
          immigration remedy; and urges the federal government to first  
          hear cases involving children that have legal counsel and to  
          immediately halt cases brought against unrepresented immigrant  
          children until lawyers are made available to represent them.
          ANALYSIS:   This resolution makes the following legislative  
          findings:


           1) The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that a  
             person shall not be deprived of life, liberty, or property  
             without due process of law, thereby ensuring that he or she  
             will receive a fundamentally fair, orderly, and just judicial  
             proceeding before being deprived of his or her freedom.


           2) Due process cannot be guaranteed in an adversarial  
             immigration removal proceeding without legal representation. 


           3) Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,  








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             adopted in 1948, states that "Everyone has the right to seek  
             and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution."  
             Accordingly, children escaping from violence in other  
             countries, whether unaccompanied or accompanied by a parent,  
             are not "illegal" when they come to the U.S. in search of  
             asylum. The protections of Article 14 have been incorporated  
             by Congress into domestic law, which now protects all asylum  
             seekers, including children, by prohibiting the federal  
             government from returning to their home countries persons who  
             have fled persecution due to race, religion, nationality,  
             political opinion, or membership in a particular social  
             group.


           4) It is our nation's legal and moral obligation to open our  
             arms to children who fear harm in their country of origin and  
             to foreign-born children in the United States who cannot be  
             reunified with one or both parents due to abuse, neglect, or  
             abandonment and who are therefore eligible for Special  
             Immigrant Juvenile Status or any other immigration remedy.


           5) Respect for due process requires that all indigent children  
             seeking asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, or other  
             immigration remedies in defense of deportation be afforded  
             government-funded competent immigration counsel.


           6) The federal government is denying indigent immigrant  
             children in California their rights to a fair trial under the  
             Fifth Amendment because the federal government does not  
             provide these children with legal representation in  
             immigration court. These children therefore face the threat  
             of deportation to violent and dangerous conditions where they  
             may face persecution, violence, or even death. 


           7) California has a duty to protect the welfare of children  
             within our state, including immigrant children. 


           8) California values immigrant children and has made this clear  








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             through legislative enactments, including AB 540 (2001), AB  
             130 and AB 131 (2011), commonly referred to as the California  
             Dream Act, SB 1064 (2012), SB 873 (2014), commonly referred  
             to as the Unaccompanied Minors Program, SB 1210 (2014),  
             commonly referred to as the California DREAM Loan Program,  
             and SB 4 and SB 75 (2015), commonly referred to as the  
             Health4All Kids Act.  California passed SB 873 (2014) and AB  
             900 (2015) to ensure that California courts issue the  
             predicate orders necessary for children to apply for Special  
             Immigrant Juvenile Status. 


           9) California has a strong interest in ensuring that the  
             children living in this state are not unfairly deported.  
             Schools are disrupted when children are pulled from classes,  
             communities are thrown into disorder when families are torn  
             apart, the health and welfare of these children are put at  
             risk, and the state is denied the potential societal and  
             economic contributions of these children.


          This resolution urges the federal government to ensure that  
          immigrant children are afforded due process under the law in  
          removal proceedings by providing government-funded attorneys,  
          trained in immigration law, to all indigent children seeking an  
          immigration remedy; and urges the federal government to first  
          hear cases involving children that have legal counsel and to  
          immediately halt cases brought against unrepresented immigrant  
          children until lawyers are made available to represent them.


          FISCAL EFFECT:   Appropriation:    No          Fiscal  
          Com.:NoLocal:    No


          SUPPORT:   (Verified  8/24/16)


          None received


          OPPOSITION:   (Verified  8/24/16)








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          None received





          Prepared by:  Melissa Ward / SFA / (916) 651-1520
          8/25/16 12:30:07


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