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SB-6 Immigrants: removal proceedings: legal services.(2017-2018)



Current Version: 03/29/17 - Amended Senate        


SB6:v95#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  March 29, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  March 01, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  February 15, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  January 24, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 6


Introduced by Senator Hueso
(Principal coauthor: Senator De León)
(Coauthor: Senator Dodd)
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Rendon)

December 05, 2016


An act to amend the heading of Chapter 5.6 (commencing with Section 13300) of Part 3 of Division 9 of, and to add Sections 13307, 13308, and 13309 to, the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to immigrants, making an appropriation therefor, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 6, as amended, Hueso. Immigrants: removal proceedings: legal services.
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 awarded 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 individuals in removal proceedings who are not otherwise entitled to legal representation under an existing local, state, or federal program. The bill would prohibit funds provided under one of those contracts from being used to provide legal services to an individual who has been convicted of, or who is currently appealing a conviction for, a violent felony. The bill would authorize the department to prioritize the award of contracts to provide legal services to detained individuals in removal proceedings and would also authorize the department to prioritize the award of contracts to qualified nonprofit legal services organizations that also receive county or city funding to provide legal services to individuals in removal proceedings. The bill would require the department to prioritize the award of contracts to provide legal services to specified individuals, including, among others, veterans of the United States military and their spouses. The bill would require the contracts awarded pursuant to this act to meet certain conditions. The bill would also authorize the department to contract with organizations to provide legal training and technical assistance to qualified nonprofit legal services organizations, to provide postconviction relief services to immigrants, and to provide case coordination and placement services to ensure that all individuals in removal proceedings receive representation in a timely fashion. The bill would establish the California Universal Representation Trust Fund to accept donations from private foundations and other philanthropic entities for the purpose of expanding the number of individuals that may be provided legal services pursuant to these provisions. The bill would appropriate $12,000,000 from the General Fund to the department.
This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: YES   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 This act shall be known and may be cited as the Expanding Due Process for All Act.

SEC. 2.

 The heading of Chapter 5.6 (commencing with Section 13300) of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:
CHAPTER  5.6. Services for Immigrants

SEC. 3.

 Section 13307 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, immediately following Section 13306, to read:

13307.
 (a) (1) (A) The State Department of Social Services 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 individuals in removal proceedings who are not otherwise entitled to legal representation under an existing local, state, or federal program. The department may prioritize the award of contracts to provide legal services for detained individuals in removal proceedings. The department may prioritize the award of contracts to qualified nonprofit legal services organizations that also receive county or city funding to provide legal services to individuals in removal proceedings.
(B) The department may consult with stakeholders to determine the prioritization of funding based on specified factors, including, but not limited to, the income of the individuals in removal proceedings.
(C) The department shall prioritize the award of contracts to provide legal services for any of the following:
(i) Detained individuals who have a parent, spouse, or child who is a citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States.
(ii) Veterans of the United States military and their spouses.
(iii) Individuals who have a claim for political asylum.
(iv) (I) Individuals who have longstanding ties to the United States or who are eligible for relief under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
(II) The department shall, in consultation with stakeholders, define the term “longstanding ties” for the purposes of this clause.
(D) For purposes of this paragraph, “stakeholders” include, but are not limited to, nonprofit legal services organizations with experience in immigration removal defense and nonprofit organizations with experience in public policy impacting immigrants.
(2) By ____, the department may 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.
(b) Funds provided under a contract awarded pursuant to this section may shall not be used to provide legal services to an individual who has a final conviction for been convicted of, or who is currently appealing a conviction for, a violent felony, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5 of the Penal Code, only if the legal services provider determines that the individual has a potentially meritorious claim for relief or defense from removal. Code. For the purposes of this subdivision, “legal services” does not include activities relating to client intake, which shall be provided regardless of an individual’s criminal history.
(c) For purposes of this chapter, the term “individual in removal proceedings” means an individual who is in removal proceedings pursuant to Section 240 of the federal Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. Sec. 1229a) before a federal immigration judge that is located in California, an individual who is arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement within California and placed in expedited removal proceedings, an individual who is paroled into the United States at or near a port of entry in California for purposes of removal proceedings, any individual detained by United States Customs and Border Protection at any port of entry in California, including, but not limited to, when the port of entry is at an airport, on land, or at sea, or an individual who is a party to an appeal made to the Board of Immigration Appeals, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, or a federal district court in California arising from those proceedings.

SEC. 4.

 Section 13308 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, immediately following Section 13307, to read:

13308.
 (a) Contracts awarded pursuant to Section 13307 shall be executed either with a nonprofit agency that will administer funding to 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) (A) Have significant experience in representing individuals in removal proceedings and asylum applications.
(B) For the purposes of this paragraph, “significant experience” means at least one of the following:
(i) A minimum of five years of experience as an organization.
(ii) Experience as a federal subcontractor for immigration representation.
(iii) Experience working with or under the supervision of an organization, including a legal training or a technical assistance organization, that has significant experience in removal defense.
(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 legal training and technical assistance to other organizations qualified under subdivision (a).
(2) Legal services organizations that provide legal training and technical assistance shall have at least 10 years of experience conducting immigration legal services trainings and technical assistance specifically on removal defense and meet the requirements as a support center to receive funding from the Trust Fund Program administered by the State Bar of California.
(3) “Legal training and technical assistance” includes, but is not limited to, webinars, in-person trainings, mentoring, removal defense boot camps, and technical assistance in the form of answering questions via email, fax, or telephone from organizations qualified under subdivision (a) and their staff and volunteers who assist individuals with removal defense.
(c) (1) The department may contract with organizations that provide postconviction relief services to immigrants.
(2) Organizations with contracts described in this subdivision may be clean slate service providers or criminal defense organizations that will file postconviction relief motions and petitions in California’s courts.
(d) 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 Section 13307 or 13309 receive that representation in a timely fashion.

SEC. 5.

 Section 13309 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

13309.
 (a) The California Universal Representation Trust 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 who may be provided legal services through contracts entered into by the department pursuant to Sections 13307 and 13308.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a) of Section 13308, the department may utilize moneys in this fund to contract with private attorneys who are members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association for the purpose of providing legal services, if the private attorneys demonstrate that, within the past five years, they have 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.
(c) The department is not required to solicit donations for the California Universal Representation Trust Fund.

SEC. 6.

 The provisions of this act are severable. If any provision of this act or its application is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.

SEC. 7.

 The sum of twelve million dollars ($12,000,000) is hereby appropriated from the General Fund to the State Department of Social Services for the purposes of implementing this act.

SEC. 8.

 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the California Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
In order to ensure Californians’ due process rights are protected by providing better access to counsel prior to the federal government’s expected expansion of deportation policies, which will have a significant impact on California’s population, it is necessary that this bill take effect immediately.