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AB-386 Legal services for deported veterans.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 03/29/2017 09:00 PM
AB386:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 29, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 20, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 386


Introduced by Assembly Member Gonzalez Fletcher
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Reyes and Santiago)

February 09, 2017


An act to add the heading of Article 1 (commencing with Section 13300) to Chapter 5.6 of Part 3 of Division 9 of, and to add Article 2 (commencing with Section 13400) to Chapter 5.6 of Part 3 of Division 9 of, the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to immigrants, and making an appropriation therefor.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 386, as amended, Gonzalez Fletcher. Legal services for deported veterans.
Existing law requires the State Department of Social Services, subject to the availability of funding, to contract with qualified nonprofit legal services organizations to provide legal services to unaccompanied, undocumented minors, as defined, who are transferred to the care and custody of the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement and who are present in this state. Existing law requires that the contracts meet certain conditions.
This bill would require the department to either contract with qualified nonprofit legal services organizations, or contract with a nonprofit agency to administer funding to nonprofit legal services organization subcontractors, to provide legal services to deported veterans, as defined. The bill would also authorize the department to contract with organizations that provide postconviction relief services to deported veterans. The bill would require the contracts awarded pursuant to these provisions to meet certain the entities providing services pursuant to these contracts to meet specified conditions. The bill would establish the Veteran Reentry Assistance Fund Fund, a continuously appropriated fund, to accept donations from private foundations and other philanthropic entities for the purpose of expanding the number of individuals that who may be provided legal services pursuant to these provisions. By establishing a new continuously appropriated fund, this bill would make an appropriation. The bill would appropriate an unspecified sum from the General Fund to the department for the purpose of implementing these provisions.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: YES   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The heading of Article 1 (commencing with Section 13300) is added to Chapter 5.6 of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:
Article  1. Immigration Services

SEC. 2.

 Article 2 (commencing with Section 13400) is added to Chapter 5.6 of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:
Article  2. Legal Services For Deported Veterans

13400.
 For purposes of this article, the following definitions shall apply:
(a) “Department” means the State Department of Social Services.
(b) “Deported veteran” means a veteran who was deported from the United States pursuant to Section 237 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. Sec. 1227), (8 U.S.C. Sec. 1227) and is ineligible for admission pursuant to Section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act ( 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1182), or both. (8 U.S.C. Sec. 1182).
(c) “Veteran” has the same meaning as defined in Section 18540.4 of the Government Code.

13402.
 (a) The department shall either contract directly with qualified nonprofit legal services organizations, or contract with a nonprofit agency to administer funding to nonprofit legal services organization subcontractors, to provide legal services to deported veterans for assistance with the reentry process.
(b) For purposes of this article, a deported veteran is eligible to receive the legal services described in subdivision (a) if the veteran provides acceptable evidence of current or prior California residency, including, but not limited to, any of the following:
(1) Graduation from a high school or attaining the equivalent to high school graduation in California.
(2) Attendance at a community college or a university in California.
(3) Fulfilling all or part of the United States Armed Forces basic training in California.
(4) Being stationed in California while serving as an active duty member of the United States Armed Forces.
(5) Established California residency prior to being deported.
(6) Employment in California.
(7) A spouse, child, or immediate family member is currently living in California.
(8) One or more of the deported veteran’s children is enrolled in a school in California.
(9) One or more of the deported veteran’s children was born in California.

(b)

(c) By ____, the department shall request proposals for agencies to act as the umbrella agency in order to determine whether an umbrella agency model is more efficient than contracting directly with individual organizations.

13406.
 (a) Contracts awarded pursuant to Section 13402 shall be executed either with a nonprofit agency that will administer the contract through nonprofit legal services organization subcontractors that meet both of the following requirements or directly with nonprofit legal services organizations that meet both of the following requirements:
(1) Have at least one of the following:
(A) A minimum of three years of experience in representing individuals in applications relating to the reentry process.
(B) A minimum of three years of experience as an organization providing legal assistance with the reentry process.
(C) Experience as a federal subcontractor for immigration representation.
(D) Experience working with or under the supervision of an organization, including a legal training or a technical assistance organization, that has significant experience in applications relating to the reentry process.
(2) Are accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals under the United States Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review or meet the requirements to receive funding from the Trust Fund Program administered by the State Bar of California.
(b) (1) The department may contract with organizations that provide postconviction relief services to deported veterans.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, organizations that provide postconviction relief services include, but are not limited to, nonprofit legal services organizations awarded funding pursuant to subdivision (a), clean slate service providers, or criminal defense organizations that will file postconviction relief motions and petitions in California’s courts.
(c) The department may contract with organizations that provide case coordination and placement services to ensure that all individuals eligible for representation pursuant to a contract entered into under this article receives receive that representation in a timely fashion.

13408.
 (a) The Veteran Reentry Assistance Fund is hereby established in the State Treasury to accept donations from private foundations and other philanthropic entities for the purpose of expanding the number of individuals that who may be provided legal services through contracts entered into by the department pursuant to this article. Notwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code, all moneys in the fund are continuously appropriated to the department without regard to fiscal year for purposes of this section.
(b) Notwithstanding the requirements of Section 13406, the department may utilize moneys in this fund the Veteran Reentry Assistance Fund to contract with a private attorney who is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association for the purpose of providing legal services, if the private attorney demonstrates that, within the past five years, he or she has been substantially involved in the practice of immigration and nationality law, as described in Section 2.0 and Section 3.0 of the California State Bar Standards for Certification and Recertification in Immigration and Nationality Law (as revised November 19, 2010). A private attorney does not need to be certified by the State Bar of California as a specialist in immigration and nationality law in order to qualify for a contract described in this section.

SEC. 3.

 The sum of ____ dollars ($____) is hereby appropriated from the General Fund to the State Department of Social Services for the purposes of implementing this act.