Last month, LACLJ Senior Immigration Attorney Michelle Carey attended the Assembly Public Safety Committee hearing in Sacramento.
Michelle was invited by CA Senate President Pro Tempore, Kevin De Leon’s Office to testify as a subject matter expert on SB 674, a U Visa-related bill which mandates California law enforcement agencies to review and sign U Visa certificates on behalf of undocumented crime survivors.
This certification serves as proof that the individual was the victim of an abusive crime and that they assisted with law enforcement’s investigation of the criminal activity. Without this, immigrant victims are ineligible to apply for U Visas that could otherwise help find them achieve stability independent of abusers. The bill received a unanimous supportive vote.
Michelle also testified in support of a Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) bill, AB 900. Immigrant children who have been abandoned, abused or neglected may qualify for SIJS. However, in California, the definition of a “child” is 18 years old or younger, while the federal definition is anyone under the age of 21. AB 900 would enable probate courts to appoint guardians to youth up to age 21 (rather than age 18), so that these youth could file for a SIJ order. Michelle provided testimony expressing strong support for the bill, citing LACLJ’s work on behalf of vulnerable unaccompanied minors.