Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

State Advocacy

Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants (AB 60)

Assembly Bill 60, also known as the Safe and Responsible Driver’s Act, directs the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to issue a driver’s license to any California resident who is eligible, regardless of immigration status. As a result, under AB 60, undocumented immigrants are able to obtain a driver’s license.

Mayor Garcetti hosted over a dozen community forums in 2014 to educate the undocumented community on AB 60. MOIA also developed a public service announcement for Mayor Garcetti, arguing in favor of the legislation and explaining that it would allow more members of Los Angeles to contribute to the economy. Through these efforts, MOIA has informed over 25,000 residents in Los Angeles about the new law.

With Councilmember Gil Cedillo’s lead, the City of Los Angeles created thousands of brochures to help the immigrant community learn about AB 60 and how to pass the DMV written and driving tests. Because of these efforts, over 605,000 California residents have received their driver’s licenses since the law’s implementation on January 2, 2015.

 

AB 60 Resources:

 

Domestic Worker Bill of Rights (AB 241/SB 1015)

Assembly Bill 241, originally passed in 2013, granted overtime protections to California’s privately-hired domestic workers. The original Domestic Worker Bill of Rights is set to sunset on January 1, 2017. Senate Bill 1015 (introduced on February 11, 2016) would continue the success from AB 241 (2013) by removing the sunset provision and making the law’s provisions permanent.

In California, there are over 300,000 domestic workers who serve as housekeepers, nannies, and caregivers in private homes. Domestic workers are primarily immigrant women who work in private households in order to provide for their own families as the primary income earner. Domestic workers are essential to California as they enable others to participate in the workforce and continue living independently in their homes. Without these domestic workers, many Californians would be forced to forgo their own jobs to address their household needs, thereby harming the wellbeing of many California families and the economy as a whole. However, despite the importance of their work, domestic workers have historically received wages well below the poverty line and were excluded from some of the most fundamental labor protections that other California workers enjoy.

Mayor Eric Garcetti supports SB 1015 and has issued a letter of support to the California legislature.

 

SB 1015 Resources:

 

Health4All Kids (SB 4)

Health 4 All Kids LogoOver 75,000 undocumented children and youth in Los Angeles became eligible for California’s full-scope Medi-Cal under Health4All Kids. National research suggests undocumented immigrants are less likely to enroll in public programs than the native-born due to fear of negative immigration enforcement, and a general fear and mistrust of public programs. Reaching and informing eligible children and families on SB4 is therefore critical to the successful implementation of SB4.

Culturally competent SB4 outreach is in line with the Mayor’s immigrant integration agenda and is a priority of MOIA moving forward. MOIA will utilize the City’s infrastructure by engaging the City’s library system, family, and work source centers as points of entry to reach potential SB4 beneficiaries. MOIA will leverage its network by collaborating with The California Endowment and the Mexican Consulate to bring critical information to the Latino community through the Ventanilla de Salud, health guides, and health fairs. MOIA will also partner with Clínica Romero to incorporate their innovative “Promotora” outreach model which provides targeted in-person education in hard-to-reach communities. Our coordinated efforts will help L.A. become a leader in Health4All Kids enrollment.

Specifically, MOIA’s Health4All Kids education campaign aims to reach over 90,000 Angelenos including children and youth who might be eligible for full-scope Medi-Cal under new provisions provided by Health4All. This outreach will enhance the effectiveness of current efforts by trusted community partners to inform hard-to-reach populations about their eligibility by collaborating on a unified message and making use of each partner’s assets in the community (e.g., networks, established community trust, existing work, expertise, etc.). This collaborative effort will broaden the reach and impact of our individual strategies through targeted and culturally competent signage about enrollment services at the Los Angeles Public Libraries, grassroots outreach through Clínica Romero’s Promotoras program, SB4-themed health fairs with the Mexican consulate, SB4 trainings for partners, and through an array of different media outreach strategies.

To enroll your child in Health4All Kids: find your local health center or call 855-899-7587.

 

Health4All Resources:

 

In-State Tuition and College Affordability (AB 540/AB 131)

In 2001, California passed Assembly Bill 540, becoming one of the first states in the nation to provide in-state tuition eligibility to non-residents, given specific requirements.  

AB 540 students may include undocumented students, students who are U.S. citizens but who are not California residents, and dependent students whose parents are not California residents. AB 540 students are those who:

  • Have attended a California high school for at least three years OR graduated early from a California high school with the equivalent of three or more years of credit*, AND
  • Graduated from a California high school, or passed the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE), or obtained a Certificate of General Education Development (GED), AND
  • Enrolled in an accredited and qualifying California college or university, AND
  • If applicable, complete(d) an affidavit to legalize immigration status as soon as you are eligible

*If you graduated early from high school under this provision, you must also have attended CA schools (elementary and secondary) for a cumulative total of three or more years.

AB 540 has provided greater access to higher education to undocumented Californians, providing a pathway to socioeconomic mobility for many individuals who are often the first in their families to attend college.

To expand access to higher education for undocumented students, the California legislature passed AB 131 in 2011, which gave AB 540 students the ability to apply for and receive state financial aid. Known as the California Dream Act, this law gave students who are eligible for AB 540 the ability to apply for and receive private scholarships funded through public universities, state-administered financial aid, university grants, community college fee waivers, and Cal Grants. 

Mayor Eric Garcetti has been a long-time advocate of the California Dream Act, since his time as Councilmember of the 13th District in the City of Los Angeles, where he presented a resolution in support of the legislation.

 

AB 540 and California Dream Act Resources:

 

Professional Licenses for All (SB 1159)

Senate Bill 1159, authored by Senator Ricardo Lara, and signed into law in 2014, expanded economic opportunity for immigrant Californians. Previously, the state was able to deny licensure for professions requiring a professional license based on an applicant’s citizenship or immigration status. This meant that the growing number of future lawyers, doctors, social workers, and other professionals who were undocumented would be unable to practice their professions and contribute to the state’s economy.

Under SB 1159, all eligible applicants possessing either a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) are able to apply for a professional license, eliminating an unnecessary barrier for qualified professionals to practice their chosen careers while strengthening local and state workforces.

 

Professional License Resources:

SB 1159 Fact Sheet – compiled by Educators for Fair Consideration