Advancing Justice-California’s 2019 legislative priorities to protect, resist, and advance

Legislative Priorities

AB 1282 (Kalra): No Private ICE Act

Sponsored by Advancing Justice-CA, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, and Freedom for Immigrants
AB 1282 prohibits the state prison system, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), from facilitating or allowing private security guards to detain, take custody of or arrest individuals for immigration enforcement purposes. In recent years, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has increasingly relied on private contractors to carry out its extensive enforcement operations in California state prisons. In particular, ICE contracts with G4S Wackenhut to transport immigration detainees. G4S is involved in transporting immigrants for ICE, and is the subject of numerous complaints of physical abuse, excessive force, and sexual abuse against immigrants, youth, and other detainees. ICE’s use of private contractors to execute immigration arrest warrants in prisons violates the federal Immigration and Nationality Act because private contractors do not have authority to conduct immigration arrests.

AB 1391 (Bonta): Language Access in Voting Awareness (LAVA) Act

Sponsored by Advancing Justice-CA and Mi Familia Vota
California’s Asian American and Latino populations have continued to see rapid population growth and yet remain dramatically underrepresented in California’s electorate — voter participation gaps actually worsened from 2014 to 2018. Language barriers are only one aspect of the problem; data shows that millions of limited-English proficient (LEP) voters actually have access to translated voting materials but do not request them. California is home to 1.2 million LEP Asian American voters and 1.5 million LEP Latino voters. Yet, only 630,000 voter registrations in California’s statewide database have a language preference for something other than English identified. Over three-quarters of California’s LEP voter population is not using existing language assistance to which it is entitled. AB 1391 provides LEP voters more opportunities to identify a language preference for something other than English and thus request translated voting materials. Raising the visibility of language assistance ensures that California’s diverse Asian American and Latino populations are able to participate fully in our democracy.

AB 849 (Bonta): FAIR MAPS Act

Sponsored by California Common Cause, Advancing Justice-CA, California League of United Latin American Citizens, League of Women Voters of California, and Mi Familia Vota
Modeled off the requirements already in place for State redistricting, this bill creates standardized, fair redistricting criteria that prioritizes keeping neighborhoods and diverse communities intact and that prohibits partisan gerrymandering, requires local governments to engage communities in the redistricting process by holding a minimum of 4 public hearings and doing public outreach, including to non-English-speaking communities, and better aligns the timing of local redistricting with recent changes to state law (including the moving up of the State Primary) to allow more opportunities for public participation.

SB 29 (Durazo) & AB 4 (Bonta, Chiu, and Santiago): Full-Scope Medi-Cal for Undocumented Adults

Sponsored by California Immigrant Policy Center and Health Access, supported by the Health4All Coalition
These bills would provide full-scope Medi-Cal to income-eligible adults by removing immigration status as an eligibility exclusion. It is critical that our state take action now to protect the health of all low-income Californians, regardless of where they were born. Undocumented adults have contributed to our economy and social fabric for decades. Lack of access to health coverage harms immigrant communities and our health care system. Health insurance protects individuals from financial distress and excessive out-of-pocket spending, encourages earlier diagnosis of chronic conditions, improves use of preventive services, and reduces preventable mortality. No one in our state should have to wait until an emergency to be able to access health care.

Budget Priorities

Reinvestment in the College Readiness Block Grant (CRBG)

Sponsored by the College 4 All Coalition and University of California Student Association
California’s future depends on reinvesting in public education and ensuring that every California student has equal opportunity to attend and graduate from the state’s world-class public universities. The CRBG “expands the pie” of educational opportunity by expanding University of California (UC) enrollment slots, so that more California students of all backgrounds can attend the UC. CRBG also creates a pipeline of educational opportunity and success from K-12 through graduation from the UC by: supporting the college readiness and eligibility of low income, high-need students (low income, English learners, foster youth); giving these qualified students of all backgrounds a fair shot at attending the UC; and providing resources and support to promote student success and graduation from college.

Health4All: Full-Scope Medi-Cal for Undocumented Adults

Sponsored by California Immigrant Policy Center and Health Access, supported by the Health4All Coalition
Undocumented Californians are deeply rooted in our state and provide significant economic, familial, and cultural contributions to our communities. It is time that California addresses the financial costs to entire communities and the state due to the health care access exclusions for undocumented Californians. The single largest population within California’s remaining uninsured are undocumented adults who shape our state and who call California home. Undocumented Californians make up 1 in 10 workers across various sectors and industries, and contribute an estimated $3 billion in state and local taxes every year. Their inability to access routine and preventative treatment threatens economic disruption for immigrant households and productivity losses for our economy. Undocumented adults also face substantially high medical bills when they do seek care, leading to an increased risk of medical debt that disrupts their financial well-being and that of their families. California’s health care system is stronger and more cost-effective when we detect and treat preventable conditions early. Ensuring that all Californians can count on routine and preventive medical care is vital to the well-being and long term sustainability of our state.

Census 2020 Language Access Plan

Sponsored by Chinese for Affirmative Action and Advancing Justice-CA
Census 2020 is the most critical survey of the American demographic. California is home to many diverse communities of color, each representing its own challenges with awareness and access to the decennial Census due to factors such as limited-English proficiency, small population size, and use of non-written languages. If California is to have a full and accurate count, it must successfully overcome the language access challenges in light of many deficiencies by the Federal Census Bureau, including the restriction of paper surveys to English and Spanish, excluding critical California languages such as Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, and Japanese.

Our Coalitions and Public Positions

Advancing Justice-CA is a partner in several statewide coalitions, including the ICE Out of CA Coalition, Health 4 All Coalition, College 4 All Coalition, Pardons and Commutations Reform Coalition, Census Policy and Advocacy Network Coalition, End the Death Penalty in CA Coalition, Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (AMEMSA) Coalition, and Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Coalition. Our leadership and coordination with these coalitions have led to the passage of SB 54 (“The CA Values Act”), the formation of the College Readiness Block Grant, and AB 2845 (“Safe Place to Learn Act”).

Fighting Back Against Profiling of Muslim Communities

Advancing Justice–CA is leading a statewide coalition of groups to challenge state and local agencies who have accepted funds from the Trump Administration to develop and implement Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) programs, a rebranded version of the discredited Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) programs. PVE and CVE are national security programs developed and funded by the federal government to target Muslims and other “suspect” communities of color. The California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) has received over $600,000 in PVE funds, which it has sub-granted to groups across the state. Asian Americans Advancing Justice — Los Angeles, together with our partners at Council on American Islamic Relations — Los Angeles (“CAIR-LA”), have issued a Public Records Act request to Cal OES to impose transparency on its PVE program as well as engaged in advocacy.

Learn More

Download a copy of our 2019 legislative priorities here. For more information, contact Liza Chu, California Policy Manager, at (209) 981–6157 or



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Advancing Justice Southern California (AJSOCAL)

Advancing Justice Southern California (AJSOCAL)

AJSOCAL is the nation's largest legal aid and civil rights organization serving the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander community