Posted on March 14, 2024

California Bill Would Extend Legal Aid to Illegal Immigrants Convicted of Violent Felonies

Fox 11, March 11, 2024

A bill introduced in the California state assembly would extend taxpayer-funded legal aid to illegal immigrants convicted of violent or serious felonies, with the Democratic lawmaker who introduced it saying it would be a step forward for racial justice.

The Representation, Equity and Protections (REP) for all Immigrants Act would remove restrictions on grant funds to provide immigration-related legal services to those convicted of violent or serious felonies {snip}

The funds would come from the One California program, which provides $45 million in grants each year for nonprofits to provide free immigration legal services, and to conduct “education and outreach” in “immigrant communities.” {snip}

The services include legal representation, including those facing deportation, and also those applying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, naturalizing and Temporary Protected Status (TPS). But it currently bars those funds from being used for those convicted of certain crimes.

The bill, introduced by Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D), would end those restrictions and also update the program to expand the services that can be provided to include interpreters, social services and litigation costs.


But it also drew significant opposition from Republicans in the chamber, Assemblywoman Kate Sanchez called the bill “completely unacceptable.”

“Why do they want to prioritize immigrant rapists & murderers over everyone else??” she asked.