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Assemblymember Roger Hernández Introduces Legislation to Integrate Deferred Action-Eligible Youth

Assemblymember Roger Hernández (D-San Gabriel Valley) has introduced Assembly Bill 35, a legislative measure that would integrate youth into our economy who are deemed by the federal government to be eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was launched this summer by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
While measures have been taken to integrate young productive immigrants into our national and state economy, more can be done to facilitate this economic integration. Per federal executive order, youth are allowed a temporary stay in the United States, with the stay subject to renewal, and a worker’s permit. Under California law, a driver license will soon be issued to youth eligible for this federal program in order to allow them mobility as they go to and from work and school.
With the ability to stay and work in the United States, and be a motorist in California, Assembly Bill 35 expands the integration of this cohort by allowing them the ability to obtain a State identification card, unemployment benefits, state administered medical services, and other benefits authorized individuals in the United States have access to.
In addition, Assembly Bill 35 provides consumer protections to these youth as they apply to the DACA program. Specifically, AB 35 makes it illegal for any person who is not an attorney, immigration consultant or notary public to charge a client for assistance in applying to the program and prohibits those who are allowed to charge a fee for service from engaging in unethical price gouging behavior as they assist these youth in their applications to the program.
“I am proud to introduce this legislation on behalf of all immigrant youth in my district and the state. I am focused on restoring California’s strong economy and competitiveness throughout the world. As such, we just cannot afford to turn our backs on our young immigrant students, especially those who have proven success in their academic and employment achievements. California embodies the greatest diversity in the world; we recognize we will need the collective skills and talents of these young immigrants to aid our state in reaching our true potential. As the new Chair of the Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment, I am ready to carry my part in making sure their integration into our workforce, economy and society becomes a reality.”

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