Governor Receives Bill Protecting Immigrant Crime Victims

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SACRAMENTO (AP) —

California lawmakers are sending Gov. Jerry Brown a bill to help immigrant victims of crime avoid being detained or deported.

The state Assembly voted unanimously 66-0 Thursday to approve the proposal by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins.

SB674 would allow immigrant victims of crime to apply for the federal Victim of Crime Visa, known as a U-Visa.

Atkins, a San Diego Democrat, says the bill requires local law enforcement to sign certifications for immigrants who are victims and have been helpful in investigating crimes like human trafficking, rape and sexual assault. The certifications are necessary before immigrants can apply for U-Visas.

The bill is one in a package of Democratic proposals this year in response to federal inaction on immigration reform.