Brown signs California immigration bills, wins activists’ kudos in pressing for reform

Brown signs California immigration bills, wins activists’ kudos in pressing for reform

"On a day when immigrant-rights activists nationwide rallied for action from Washington, Gov. Jerry Brown put California at the vanguard of change, signing sweeping laws aimed at speeding the assimilation of those in the country illegally.  Brown (D) signed eight bills Saturday, including one prohibiting local law enforcement officials from detaining immigrants longer than necessary for minor crimes so that federal immigration authorities can take custody of them.  ... The measure is the second milestone immigration bill signed by the governor in three days.  On Thursday, he approved a measure allowing immigrants in the country illegally to receive California driver’s licenses.  “While Washington waffles on immigration, California’s forging ahead,” Brown said. “I’m not waiting.”  Other bills signed Saturday will allow people in the country illegally to be licensed as lawyers, impose restrictions on those who charge a fee to help immigrants gain legal status, and make it a crime for employers to “induce fear” by threatening to report someone’s immigration status.  Immigrant-rights activists who rallied for an end to gridlock in Washington hailed Brown’s actions. The California Immigrant Policy Center on Saturday declared 2013 the “year of the immigrant” in California." - Washington Post, Oct. 6, 2013.