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California bill seeks to protect undocumented victims of crime from deportation

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  • California bill would protect undocumented victims and witnesses of crimes from deportation.
  • It’s hoped to encourage undocumented victims to come forward.
  • Miguel Santiago proposed AB 1261.

A proposed bill seeks to protect undocumented victims and witnesses of crime from deportation. Reporting crimes such as murder, extortion, domestic violence, harassment, human trafficking, hate crimes and 22 offenses could help immigrants secure their immigration status.

Proposed bill AB 1261 seeks to provide protection for undocumented immigrants in California. It was created to encourage undocumented victims or witnesses to cooperate with US authorities. Assemblyman Miguel Santiago sponsored the bill.

California bill to protect undocumented victims of crime from deportation

They seek to give 'papers' to immigrants without immigration status
PHOTO Shutterstock

Eight-three percent of undocumented immigrants who are victims of some type of crime do not report it for fear of being deported, explains Santiago. If approved, AB 1261 would modify California’s procedures for obtaining certain types of visas.

If it becomes law, whistleblowers will have state supported immigration protection. In addition, it would help reduce crime in the state.

Protecting undocumented immigrants

Could provide immigration protection
PHOTO Shutterstock

There is currently a federal law that grants U visas to victims of violent crimes, but only 10,000 are granted per year in the United States, though there are many more candidates for them.

The new law, if approved, will provide an immigration protection certificate to the undocumented immigrant who is a victim or witness of crime and their family when they file a formal complaint.

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