Office of Immigrant Assistance
ALERT: What to Know About DACA
President Trump has turned his back on hundreds of thousands of children and young immigrants who came forward and put their trust in our government. This Administration has chosen to ignore what American voters have said they think is right. Nearly 80 percent of voters want to protect the legal status of Dreamers.
Ending the program is devastating not just for recipients, but for our economy. California businesses would lose more than a billion dollars in turnover costs. Attorney General Sessions claims this decision is full of "compassion," but real compassion would be treating Dreamers "with heart," as President Trump himself said.
In terminating DACA, the Trump Administration has violated the Constitution and federal law. California is taking action because one in four DACA grantees live in our great state. I will do everything I can to fight for them.
We understand how upsetting and unsettling this is. We urge you to:
- Continue organizing to advance social justice.
- Seek support where needed to strengthen your mental and emotional well-being. United We Dream has developed the UndocuHealth Project Toolkit.
- Seek legal advice from a lawyer or accredited representative regarding your individual circumstances. If you are a California resident and need a suggestion on where to turn for legal help, the California Department of Social Services has provided a list of of nonprofit organizations that it funds to provide services to Californians seeking DACA or other immigration remedies, which can be accessed from the Immigration Services Contractors page. People outside California, may find the following information to be of assistance from Administrative Relief. The organizations and materials are provided to serve as resources for the public and do not indicate an endorsement by the California Attorney General's Office
Be careful not to seek legal advice from notarios or immigration consultants who are not authorized to practice law, or anyone else who says they can quickly and easily fix your status.
The Attorney General's Office is committed to protecting immigrant communities, public safety and the basic rights of all Californians through the vigorous enforcement of civil rights laws and consumer protections and by promoting trust and cooperation between immigrants and law enforcement.
California Laws Protecting Immigrants’ Civil Rights
Over the last several years, California has taken significant strides to protect immigrants, passing a broad range of laws to expand and uphold the civil and labor rights of immigrants, to equalize access to higher education, and to define the role local law enforcement agencies may play in the enforcement of federal immigration law. In its brief, "California Blueprint: Two Decades of Pro-Immigrant Transformation," the California Immigrant Policy Center highlights the broad range of state laws enacted since 1996.
The California Attorney General, as the state’s top law enforcement officer, is uniquely charged with overseeing effective implementation of the laws affecting California law enforcement agencies. Summaries of select laws enacted in recent years appear below.
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Legal Actions Taken by the Department of Justice
City and County of San Francisco v. Trump. On March 29, 2017, Attorney General Becerra filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case City and County of San Francisco v. Trump, et al., supporting San Francisco in its challenge to President Trump's executive order targeting “sanctuary jurisdictions.” Like the County of Santa Clara, San Francisco challenges President Trump's threats to withdraw federal funds from states and local jurisdictions that the Administration deems to be “sanctuary jurisdictions.” Attorney General Becerra's brief highlights California's interest in protecting state laws and policies that ensure public safety and protect the constitutional rights of residents. On April 25, 2017, a federal judge issued a ruling in this matter, and in the related matter of the County of Santa Clara v. Trump, that put a nationwide halt on the federal government's ability to enforce its threat to block cities that do not cooperate with federal immigration enforcement from receiving federal funds.
Challenging Trump's Travel Ban
State of Hawaii v. Trump. On April 20, 2017, Attorney General Becerra joined a coalition of 17 states filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to support the preliminary injunction obtained by the state of Hawaii which bars enforcement of unconstitutional provisions of the Trump Administration's revised executive order on travel. On May 15, 2017, a three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments on the Constitutionality of Trump's Muslim travel ban. The judges will decide whether to uphold a Hawaii judge's decision in March that blocked the ban.
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Partnerships and Public Forums
Office of the Attorney General, Univision LA, and SEIU CA Partner on Statewide Public Forums on Immigration. In the summer of 2016, the Attorney General's Civil Rights Enforcement Section hosted a series of statewide public forums in partnership with Univision Los Angeles, Service Employees International Union of California, and iAmerica to provide Californians applying for U.S. Citizenship with information on the application process and how to avoid immigration services fraud. The forums were hosted in eight California counties: Fresno, Kern, Los Angeles, Monterey, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Clara, and Stanislaus. The statewide public forums provided community members an opportunity to receive information about the citizenship process, set up an individual appointment for free assistance with citizenship applications, and hear from the Attorney General's Office on how individuals can avoid being a victim of immigration services scams and wage theft.
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Consumer Alerts & Publications
The Attorney General's Office routinely uses consumer alerts and brochures to inform immigrants about their legal rights and warn Californians about scams and other potential threats.
Consumer Alert on Immigration Consultants. The Attorney General's Office issued a consumer alert advising individuals in need of help with their immigration status to be careful with whom they consult. Only lawyers licensed to practice in state or federal courts can give legal advice. Lawyers or representatives accredited by the immigration court can represent individuals in immigration court. In California, notaries public, paralegals, accredited representatives and immigration consultants are not necessarily lawyers.
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Know Your Rights
The organizations and materials listed below are provided to serve as resources for the public and do not indicate an endorsement by the Attorney General's Office, nor do they constitute legal advice.
Know Your Rights - General Information
- The International Refugee Assistance Project issued “Know Your Rights – Travel to the U.S. After the March 6, 2017 Executive Order.”
- The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has issued "Know Your Rights: What to Do When Encountering Law Enforcement at Airports and Other Ports of Entry into the U.S."
Immigration – Frequently Asked Questions
- Is it a crime to live in the U.S. in violation of immigration laws?
Living in the U.S. in violation of immigration laws is not itself a crime. It is a criminal misdemeanor to enter the U.S. without examination or inspection by immigration officers or to try to enter the U.S. by concealing or falsifying material facts, including immigration documents. Many immigrants, however, enter the country legally, but overstay their visa. These individuals have committed a violation of federal civil immigration law, which is subject to civil penalties (typically deportation), not criminal penalties.