Undocumented Immigrants Could Get Jobless Benefits

Jim Sanders, The Sacramento Bee, December 12, 2012

Legislation introduced Tuesday would give about 400,000 undocumented immigrants in California the same rights as citizens to unemployment benefits and various other government services.

Assembly Bill 35 targets a select group of undocumented immigrants, participants in President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, who came to the United States as youths and have lived generally productive lives for numerous years.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation, effective Jan. 1, that enables participants in the federal program to obtain California driver’s licenses. AB 35 would provide them with rights to a state ID card, unemployment benefits and state-administered medical services.

AB 35 was proposed by Assemblyman Roger Hernández, a West Covina Democrat who was named chairman of the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee this month.

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