CA State Legislation Timeline
This is a summary of select California laws, and is not meant to replace legal advice.
The majority of the content below was created by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo staff members. More information can be found here.
For the original legal text, please visit http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/
The Uniform Residency Law
From 1974 until 1980, the Uniform Residency Law of California provided an exemption that allowed long-term California residents to pay in-state tuition at all California public colleges and universities. The law sunsetted in 1980 without being renewed. From 1980 until 1986, undocumented students were charged out-of-state tuition at all California public colleges and universities.
Leticia A. v. UC Regents & CSU Board of Trustees
In 1985 the Alameda County Superior Court ruled that undocumented students should be treated as California residents for the purposes of paying in-state tuition. Students who met the residency requirements of one year and one day qualified to pay in-state tuition and were eligible for state financial aid in the form of Cal Grants. (A Cal Grant is money provided by the state of California to students who attend colleges in California and qualified to receive aid. Cal Grants do not have to be paid back.
Bradford v. UC Regents
The Leticia A. ruling was effectively overturned in Los Angeles County Superior Court in 1990. Following the court’s decision, undocuemented students were charged out-of-state tuition and lost all eligibility to receive state or federal financial aid.
Proposition 187 (CA Ballot)
Proposition 187, passed by California voters in 1994, called for denial of access to public education, child welfare, and non-emergency health care (e.g. immunizations) for all undocumented immigrants. Prop 187 was ultimately overturned by the United States Supreme Court in 1995. The court declared that by denying privileges to undocumented immigrants, the state was unconstituionally regulating immigration, which only the federal government can legislate.
Assembly Bill (AB) 540
AB 540 (Firebaugh) allows students who have attended at least three years of high school in the state to qualify for in- state tuition, fee waivers, and financial aid, regardless of their immigration status (passed in 2001, effective Jan 1st 2002)
AB130 & AB131
AB 130 & 131 (Cedillo) allows eligible AB540 students access to scholarships and state financial aid (passed 2011, AB130 effective Jan 1st 2012 and AB131 effective Jan 1st 2013)
AB 844 (Lara) allows all students, regardless of immigration access, the opportunity to serve “in any capacity” on student government of CSUs and CCCs and receive the benefits of their service (passed 2011, effective Jan 1st 2012)
AB 60 (Alejo) provides access to a driver’s license for all California residents regardless of immigration status (passed 2013, effective Jan 1st 2015)
AB 4 (Ammiano) prohibits the detention of a person on the basis of immigration status after that person becomes eligible for release from criminal custody (passed 2013, effective Jan 1st 2014)
AB 35 (Hernández) codifies that DACA approved individuals are eligible for unemployment insurance benefits (passed 2013, effective Jan 1st 2014)
AB 524 (Mullin) explicitly defines extortion to include threats to report a person’s immigration status (passed 2013, effective Jan 1st 2014)
AB 1024 (Gonzalez) authorizes the California Supreme Court to admit to the practice of law an applicant who is not lawfully present in the USA (passed 2013, effective Jan 1st 2014)
AB 2000 (Gomez) allows students who have attended at least three years of elementary or secondary education in the state to qualify for in-state tuition, fee waivers, and financial aid, regardless of their immigration status (passed 2014, effective Jan 1st 2015)
Senate Bill (SB) 1210
SB 1210 (Lara) establishes a California Dream Loan Program, which provides loans to AB 540 students who are ineligible for federal financial aid. Students who attend a participating campus of the University of California, or the California State University system would be able to secure a State Education Access Loan of up to $4000 per year, or up to $20,000 total from any one participating institution (passed 2014, effective Jan 1st 2015)
AB 1660 (Alejo) makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person because they present a driver’s license issued under AB 60 (passed 2014, effective Jan 1st 2015)
AB 1897 (Hernández) expands protections for workers hired through a labor contractor or staffing agency, Employers who hire five or more workers are liable for payment of wages and workers’ compensation insurance for these workers (passed 2014, effective Jan 1st 2015)
SB 477 (Steinberg) requires any entity engaged in foreign labor contracting to register starting on July 1, 2016, with the Labor Commission. Requires written disclosure to any worker recruited with a signed copy of the work contract, information of the worker’s visa, an itemized list of any costs to be charged to the worker, and a description of the worker’s rights under state and federal laws (passed 2014, effective Jan 1st 2015)
SB 1087 (Monning) prohibits anyone who has committed sexual harassment of a worker within the past three years from obtaining or renewing a license to operate as a farm labor contractor. Significantly increases penalties for a person who engages in farm labor contracting after his or her licenses has been suspended, revoked, or denied renewal (passed 2014, effective Jan 1st 2015)
SB 1159 (Lara) expands immigrants’ access to professional and occupational licenses by prohibiting state licensing boards within the Department of Consumer Affairs from denying licensure to an other wise qualified applicant because of his or her citizenship or immigration status. Allows applicants for a professional or occupational license to provide an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) in lieu of a Social Security number (effective no later than January 1, 2016)
AB 60 (Gonzalez) will protect Californians from immigration attorneys and consultants demanding an advanced payment for services exclusively related to a pending immigration reform act such as President Obama’s announcement on November 20th, 2014. Furthermore, this consumer protection bill revises the definition of an immigration reform act under SB 1159. It will close the loophole that leaves vulnerable families exposed to predatory practice in the wake of the President’s announcement (effective immediately)
AB 265 (Holden) enhances automobile buyer protections by requiring buy-here-pay-here dealerships to provide California car buyers with a 5 day written notice before a starter interrupter devise can be used to disable a car for failure to pay timely loan payments (passed 2015, effective Jan 1st 2016)
AB 560 (Gomez) will ensure a child’s immigration status is irrelevant when seeking recovery under any applicable law, such as intentional or negligent acts that harm them. This bill will also protect minor children from having their immigration status exposed or used when seeking civil recourse (passed 2015, effective Jan 1st 2016)
AB 622 (Hernández, Roger) will strengthen the California Labor Code’s protections for all workers by limiting misuse of E-Verify. It codifies and clarifies existing federal standards, and creates civil penalties for abuse (passed 2015, effective Jan 1st 2016)
SB 4 (Lara) The 2015-2016 State Budget includes investments to expand eligibility to Medi-Cal to all children and youth ages 0-19, regardless of immigration status (passed 2015, effective Jan 1st 2016)
SB 405 (Hertzberg) would reduce the number of persons having their driver’s license suspended for violations that don’t affect public safety. It would provide a method for persons with a current suspension due to a nonviolent offence to get their driving privileges restored (passed 2015, effective Jan 1st 2016)
SB 600 (Pan) would amend the Unruh Civil Rights Act (1959) to outlaw discrimination on the basis of “citizenship,” “immigration status,” and “primary language.” In doing so, our immigrants, who are key to California’s success and might but who are among our most vulnerable, will share the same civil rights protections as all Californians (passed 2015, effective Jan 1st 2016)
SB 623 (Lara) specifies that an injured worker shall not be excluded from receiving workers’ compensation benefits from the Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund or the Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund based on their immigration status (passed 2015, effective Jan 1st 2016)
SB 674 (De León) encourages immigrant victims of crime in California to report crimes and collaborate with local law enforcement to attain justice for all Californians (passed 2015, effective Jan 1st 2016)
AB 2159 (Gonzalez) ensures an injured person in California receives fair and just compensation for future income loss and future medical cost regardless of their immigration status (passed 2016, effective Jan 1st 2017)
AB 2364 (Holden) exempts undocumented students, from paying nonresident tuition at the California State University and the California Community Colleges if that student is currently a California high school student enrolled in a concurrent enrollment or dual enrollment program (passed 2016, effective 2017)
AB 2792 (Bonta) creates a transparent process, including community engagement, before local law enforcement can participate in ICE deportation programs. Local law enforcement must then reach an agreement with their city council or county supervisors that sets the terms and conditions of any participation in such programs and ensures compliance with California’s TRUST Act (passed 2016, effective Jan 1st 2017)
SB 10 (Lara) directs the state to apply for a waiver under Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act, to allow undocumented immigrants and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients to purchase a health plan through the state marketplace, Covered California, with their own money. (Lara withdraws request after the 2016 Presidential Election)
SB 1015 (Leyva) continues the success from AB 241(2013), which granted overtime protections to California’s privately hired domestic workers. This bill would remove the sunset provision and make the law’s provisions permanent (passed 2016, effective Jan 1st 2017)
SB 1063 (Hall) prohibits employers from paying employees a wage rate less than the rate paid to employees of a different race or ethnicity for substantially similar work (passed 2016, effective Jan 1st 2017)
SB 1139 (Lara) addresses the chronic shortage of medical professionals in underserved communities by ensuring that all people, regardless of their immigration status, have access to the state’s scholarship and loan forgiveness programs for health professionals (passed 2016, effective Jan 1st 2017)
SB 68 (Lara) expands access to in-state tuition to include up to two years in California Community Colleges or fulfillment of minimum requirements to transfer to a California State University or a University of California (passed 2017, effective Jan 1st 2018)
AB1622 (Low) Recommends the 114 campuses of California Community Colleges and the 23 campuses in the California State University system to establish Dreamer Resource Liaisons and Dream Resource Centers to help undocumented students. The bill would also request that the 10 campuses of the University of California system do the same on each campus. (passed 2017, effective Jan 1st 2018)
AB 343 (McCarty) grants an immediate nonresident tuition fee exemption to eligible Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders and refugee students who settled in California upon entering the United States. This exemption is granted for one year from the date the student settled in California upon entering the United States.
AB 21 (Kalra) requires that public institutions of higher education do not release student information regarding immigration status; restrict ICE access to campus without advance notice; and support students impacted by federal immigration policies, including access to legal advice (passed 2017, effective Jan 1st 2018)
AB 130 allocates $20,000,000 to the Department of Social Services for the 2017-2018 year as payment to entities and organizations that work with and for DACA clients (passed 2017, effective Jan 1st 2018)
AB 134 amends the Budget Act of 2017 and approves allocating $7,000,000 to California Community Colleges to provide emergency aid to students, AB 540 and AB 2000 students, with identified needs (passed 2017, effective Jan 1st 2018)
AB 291 (Chiu) prohibits landlords from disclosing tenants’ known or assumed immigration status to enforcement agencies and from threatening tenants with their status
AB 299 (Calderon) revises existing law that prohibits cities and counties from encouraging landlords to take action against tenants based on actual or perceived immigration status to include the state and other public entities; landlords must still comply with federal law, warrants, and orders (passed 2017, effective Jan 1st 2018)
AB 450 (Chiu) prohibits employers from voluntarily providing consent for immigration enforcement to access non- public spaces in a place of labor unless required by federal law, and from providing access to employee records without court order or subpoena (passed 2017, effective Jan 1st 2018)
AB 699 (O’Donnell) prohibits school districts and offices of education, except required by state or federal law or federally sponsored programs, from collecting information regarding the immigration statuses of students and families (passed 2017, effective Jan 1st 2018)
SB 29 (Lara) prohibits cities, counties, and law enforcement from entering into contracts with federal immigration enforcement and agents to detain noncitizens and enforce civil immigration custody; and prohibits the use of new or existing buildings on public land for the detention of immigrants (passed 2017, effective Jan 1st 2018)
SB 54 (de Leon) establishes California as a Sanctuary State; prohibits state and local law enforcement from using resources to detain, arrest, or interrogate someone for immigration enforcement purposes; limits ability for public schools, libraries, health care facilities, and courthouses from assisting in immigration enforcement (passed 2017, effective Jan 1st 2018)
SB 156 (Anderson) requires programs that support veterans’ transition out of military service to include assistance for undocumented veterans to attain U.S. citizenship for those eligible, including access to legal resources (passed 2017, effective Jan 1st 2018)
SB 257 (Lara) allows pupils 6-18 years old who comply with residential requirements for their school district to attend that district if parents, who are residents of the state, depart California “against their will” (passed 2017, effective Jan 1st 2018)
Dream Center Liaison(AB 2477)
AB2477 (Low & Rubio) Recommends the 23 campuses in the California State University system and 9 campuses in the University of California system to establish Dreamer Resource Liaisons and Dream Resource Centers to help undocumented students. The bill would also request that the 10 campuses of the University of California system do the same on each campus (passed 2018, effective Jan 1st 2019).
Are individuals with deferred action status eligible for the REAL ID?
- Along with U.S citizens and legal resident, “approved deferred action status” are also eligible to apply for REAL ID. [Sec. 202(c)(2)(B)(viii)]
- Under the REAL ID regulation, applicants with approved deferred action who hold valid Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) and Social Security Numbers (SSNs) may qualify to receive temporary REAL ID driver’s licenses and ID cards.
- Individuals with approved Deferred Action, valid EADs and valid SSNs may continue to hold temporary (limited-term) REAL IDs until their expiration. In any case, REAL ID compliant states may continue to issue non-compliant licenses and IDs to individuals with or without lawful status, including deferred action, as defined under the REAL ID Act.
For more information about the REAL ID please see the attached document below.