Democrats in California Legislature to Introduce Bill That Will Provide Immigrants with Additional Legal Help

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Cardinal Roger Michael Mahony, Archbishop of Los Angeles, joins hands with others in leading May Day Rally in downtown Los Angeles on May 01, 2010. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

With President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric on illegal immigration still fresh on their minds, Democrats in the state Senate have readied a pair proposals they believe will offer some immigrants additional legal help.

The bills, set to be introduced on the first day of the new legislative session Monday, primarily aim to bolster the legal representation of immigrants who are in the country illegally and threatened with deportation. California has no formal role in national immigration policy, but the bills could supercharge the state’s role in pushing back against a Trump administration’s effort to deport as many as 3 million people living in the United States.

Most sweeping is a bill that would authorize state government grants to nonprofit organizations that provide legal help for immigrants facing deportation. Dubbed “due process for all” in a summary document obtained by The Times, Democrats believe the money could help a significant number of immigrants to successfully challenge deportations.

The second bill would establish a new training and funding program for public defenders involved in immigration cases.

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