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Posted on: Sep 30, 2019

Right now, Assembly Bill 668 (Gonzalez, D-San Diego) is sitting on the Governor's desk awaiting his signature.

The CAAA-sponsored legislation, which would prevent civil arrests at California courthouses, is our second attempt at protecting access to courthouses for undocumented workers - a much-needed action in the wake of President Trump's increasingly aggressive anti-immigration tactics.

We've seen how families have been ripped apart and placed in make-shift internment camps by these policies. We've seen the unnecessary damage caused by ICE agents stalking both documented and undocumented workers at their jobs, in their homes and at our courthouses.

But the truth of the matter is, no matter how many holding facilities are built or whether or not a wall is constructed along our southern border, employers throughout California and the nation - farmers in particular - will continue to employ undocumented workers for cheap labor. And we, as consumers of produce grown almost anywhere in America, will continue to benefit from their hard work.

The courts decided long ago that all workers - including workers without papers - are protected by California's workers' compensation laws. As the organization that legally represents the most immigrant workers in California, CAAA is proud to have led the charge in sponsoring legislation to help ensure that all workers are able to pursue their state-mandated benefits and vindicate all of their legal rights.

Furthermore, AB 668 will require ICE Agents to effectuate civil arrests in California courthouses ONLY when in possession of a valid federal warrant. This is a common sense and humane approach to the "chilling effect" ICE agents are having in California's courthouses.

We urge Governor Newsom to sign this important piece of legislation and ensure justice can be achieved for all workers in California.