Many immigrants living in California and throughout the country know how difficult it can be obtain U.S. citizenship. But it can seem unfair to have the threat of deportation constantly hovering over your head if you work, pay taxes and follow the laws. Some California lawmakers have recognized this and are working to have a new bill put on the November ballot across the state. The proposal, if passed, could affect deportation and removal proceedings for many in our state.
The proposal, entitled the California Opportunity and Prosperity Act, aims to protect immigrants who have no criminal record, who speak English, and who are employed and pay taxes. The proposal would allow undocumented immigrants who have been living in the state since 2007 and meet these high standards to be added to a state immigration registry. Once on the registry, the names would be submitted to federal officials who would in turn be asked to make those on the registry a low priority for deportation.
Becoming a low priority for federal officials could assist many with avoiding the perils of deportation and removal proceedings. The bipartisan effort is intended to help many undocumented immigrants in California safely remain in the state. Proponents point out that legislation is very different from legislation that recently passed in Arizona.
Opponents of the bill say that immigration is a federal issue and not for a state to decide. It remains to be seen if California voters will have the opportunity to decide on this issue, which could affect deportation and removal proceedings for many.
Source: New America Media, “CA State Immigration Bill Vies for Spot on November Ballot,” April 10, 2012