A Year of Change for California Immigrants

This year CAUSE is working to implement two California state laws signed in 2013 that mean huge changes in the lives of local immigrant families: AB60 and the TRUST Act.

AB60 allows California undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses, changing lives and opening new doors to opportunity.  Immigrants’ rights activists throughout California fought for two decades to make this law a reality and are now working diligently to help our communities study, prepare, and succeed.

CAUSE has been helping local families study for the test by running driver’s license classes in cities throughout Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, while also helping make appointments and train other local organizations to offer a driving safety curriculum.  Over 300 Ventura and Santa Barbara County residents have graduated from CAUSE’s driver’s license classes.

We are continuing to advocate as part of the statewide coalition Drive California for the most inclusive and just implementation of this vital law with maximum protections for all community members.

The TRUST Act and a related court decision have barred federal immigration officials from using local police resources to hold immigrants in detention without due process.  Prior to the TRUST Act, undocumented immigrants were often stopped for offenses like minor traffic violations, and then handed over to immigration officials resulting in their deportation.  This hurt the ability of local law enforcement to build trust with immigrant communities, jeopardizing the safety of neighborhoods where many are afraid to communicate with the police.   

CAUSE has been working with county sheriffs to track the rollout of the law and ensure local law enforcement is being trained in its implementation.  We’ve also passed out over 1,000 “know your rights” cards with a hotline to report violations.  Since the TRUST Act, we’ve seen deportation rates significantly drop in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, making a huge difference for local immigrant families who are all too often torn apart by our broken immigration system.

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