BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó





                             SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
                         Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, Chair
                             2015-2016  Regular  Session


          SB 1351 (De León)
          Version: February 19, 2016
          Hearing Date:  April 26, 2016
          Fiscal: No
          Urgency: No
           ME


                                        SUBJECT
                                           
                                 Property ownership

                                      DESCRIPTION  

          Existing law and the California Constitution provide for equal  
          property rights for citizens and noncitizens.  This bill would  
          remove the term of "alien" from the statutory provision that  
          provides for equal property rights for all people regardless of  
          citizenship status. 

                                      BACKGROUND  

          Since the earliest days of California's history, there have been  
          equal property rights for citizens and noncitizens.  

          California's recent history has been one of inclusion and  
          respect for immigrants.  Last year, the author of this measure  
          sponsored a historic package of ten bills to empower immigrants  
          in California.  This package of bills was referred to as  
          "Immigrants Shape California."  All ten bills were signed into  
          law.  Also last year, the Legislature passed and the Governor  
          signed a measure into law that deleted the definition of "alien"  
          from the Labor Code to describe non-citizens.  

          This bill would replace the word "alien," an outdated term for a  
          person not born in or naturalized in the United States of  
          America, with the word "noncitizen" in the Civil Code section  
          that provides that there are equal property rights for all  
          regardless of immigration status.  This change does not alter  
          the substance of the statute.








          SB 1351 (De León)
          Page 2 of ? 


                                CHANGES TO EXISTING LAW
           
           Existing law  provides for equal property rights for both  
          citizens and noncitizens. (Cal. Const., art. 1, Sec. 20.)

           Existing law  states that any person, whether citizen or alien,  
          may take, hold, and dispose of property, real or personal,  
          within this State. (Civ. Code sec. 671)

           This bill  would replace the word "alien" with the word  
          "noncitizen" in the above provision.
          
                                        COMMENT
           
          1.   Stated need for bill
           
          According to the author:

             The word "alien" is antiquated terminology placed in Civil  
             Code in the 1870s.  Although the statute intended to  
             unequivocally state that citizens and aliens both have  
             property rights, it also sought to differentiate citizens  
             from "aliens," or noncitizens.  The word "alien" today  
             carries negative connotations of otherness that California  
             has sought to disavow in recent years in order to affirm  
             its commitment to full immigrant integration.   
             "Noncitizen" is a more appropriate term that more  
             accurately identifies the population that this statute  
             references. 

             Many measures in recent years have sought to replace the  
             word alien or completely eliminate the citizenship  
             differentiation if unnecessarily mentioned in the law.   
             This measure seeks to do the same.  

          2.   California's public policy is to respect immigrants
           
          California's recent history has been one of inclusion and  
          respect for immigrants.  While Congress fails to pass  
          comprehensive immigration reform, California has exercised its  
          state power to protect immigrants who are caught in limbo due to  
          Washington's inaction.  Last year, the author of this measure  
          sponsored a historic package of ten bills to empower immigrants  
          in California.  This package of bills was referred to as  







          SB 1351 (De León)
          Page 3 of ? 

          "Immigrants Shape California."  All ten bills were signed into  
          law by Governor Jerry Brown.

          In California, all employment protections, rights, and remedies  
          available under state law (except as prohibited by federal law)  
          are available to all people regardless of immigration status.   
          (Lab. Code Sec. 1171.5, Civ. Code Sec. 3339, Gov. Code Sec.  
          7285, Health & Saf. Code Sec. 24000.)

          Last year, the legislature passed and the Governor signed SB 432  
          (Mendoza, Ch. 160, Stats. 2015) into law.  It was a measure that  
          deleted the definition of "alien" in the Labor Code to describe  
          noncitizens.  


           Support  :  Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles  
          (CHIRLA)

           Opposition  :  None Known

                                        HISTORY
           
           Source  :  Author

           Related Pending Legislation  :  None Known

           Prior Legislation  :

          SB 432 (Mendoza, Chapter 160, Statutes of 2015) See Comment 2.



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