Governor Jerry Brown’s decision to sign three immigration reform bills into law is drawing praise from local immigration experts.
Senate Bill 1159, introduced by Sen. Ricardo Lara and signed by Brown, will allow undocumented immigrants to apply for professional state licenses to work as doctors, nurses, dentists, and in other fields.
Jessica Smith-Bobadilla is the director of the New American Legal Clinic at San Joaquin College of Law.
“Now a lot of people will be able to get professional licenses that they were previously ineligible for and I think that will stimulate some degree of economic growth in our area and throughout the state,” she says.
Another bill signed by Brown, SB 1210, creates the California Dream Loan Program. The program will provide over $9 million for state public universities to administer loans to undocumented students.
Brown also signed SB 873 allocating $3 million for non-profit organizations to legally represent minors in deportation cases. The bill comes in response to the surge in the number of unaccompanied Central American children arriving on the U.S.-Mexico border.