Illegal immigrants can be licensed to practice law in California under one of eight bills expanding immigrant rights that were signed by Governor Jerry Brown on Saturday.
The California Supreme Court, which finalizes requests of applicants to be licensed as a lawyer in California, is now authorized to approve qualified applicants regardless of their immigration status.
Other new laws prohibit law enforcement officials from detaining immigrants based on federal government instructions except in cases of serious crimes or convictions, and make it illegal for employers to retaliate against workers on the basis of their citizenship.
“While Washington waffles on immigration, California’s forging ahead,” Brown said in a statement. “I’m not waiting.”
The new laws, including the one letting undocumented immigrants become lawyers, could set a precedent for the nation. They are part of a push to increase immigrant rights in the strongly Democratic state. About 38 percent of California’s population of 38 million is of Hispanic descent. . .