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California Lawmakers Fast-Track Immigration Protection Bills


California lawmakers are expediting three bills in order to shield immigrants from deportation after the election of President Donald Trump.

This bill would make state-funded immigration attorneys available for public defenders to consult with.

Angie Junck of the Immigration Legal Resource Center says it’s a complex area of law that not all defenders are prepared for. Even residents with visas can face deportation after accepting a plea deal on a misdemeanor charge.

"It’s very hard to keep up with it," Junck says. "So we feel there is a great need across the state to be able to resource public defenders who have high-volume caseloads to be able to understand the law and effectively advise their clients."

The measure doesn’t yet specify a funding level, but it passed its first vote without opposition. The committee’s two Republicans did not vote.

The immigration bill is also one of three that Democratic leaders are fast-tracking after President Trump’s election. The other two began advancing through the state Senate last week.

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