Monday, October 10, 2011
Governor Brown Signs Bills Meant To Help Immigrants And Economy
SAN DIEGO The two bills faced Republican opposition and were passed right before the legislative deadline. Assembly Bill 1236, the Employment Acceleration Act of 2011, will not make it mandatory for private companies to use the federal employment verification system, or E-Verify. Assembly Bill 130, also known as the California DREAM Act, will make public financial aid available for the state's undocumented-immigrant college students.
By signing both into law, Gov. Brown fulfilled a campaign promise and sent the state lawmakers a pro-immigrant message.
"I think the governor signing both of these bills is an acknowledgement that immigrants are a crucial part of the great state of California," said Sara Sadhwani, a spokesperson with the advocacy group California Immigrant Policy Center in Los Angeles. "It's an acknowledgement that we have to both invest in our future economy as well as protect our current economy."
According to Sadhwani, not making E-Verify mandatory will have both short-term and long-term economic implications, helping the state's economy recover in industries like agriculture and food services which depend on immigrants.
By approving the state DREAM Act, Governor Brown makes a commitment to the future of young undocumented immigrants. California now joins 10 other states with laws that allow undocumented students to pay for higher eduction, including New York, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.