Assembly Unanimously Passes Legislation Protecting Unaccompanied Immigrant Children

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO - Yesterday afternoon, Assembly Bill 1140, the Unaccompanied Immigrant Child Protection Act by Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister), unanimously passed off the Assembly floor on consent. This follows last week’s unanimous passage of AB 1140 in the Assembly Judiciary Committee. In a time when vulnerable, unaccompanied immigrant children are coming to our country in unprecedented numbers, AB 1140 will ensure that all children housed in state-licensed facilities will be under the jurisdiction of the California Foster Care Ombudsperson’s Office and will thereby receive all of the resources and protections they are entitled to under state law.

“The unanimous passage of AB 1140 is indicative of the Assembly’s commitment to protecting vulnerable children, no matter their immigration or citizenship status,” Asm. Rivas said. “This bill will clarify in law that the California Foster Care Ombudsperson’s Office will protect unaccompanied immigrant children to the same degree as other vulnerable children in their care.”

AB 1140 now moves to the Senate.

“California has long been a leader in protecting vulnerable populations,” said Jackie Gonzalez, Policy Director at Immigrant Defense Advocates. “This bill ensures that we provide proper oversight and protection for all children in our state.”

AB 1140 is sponsored by KIND, Youth Law Center, Legal Services for Children, National Center for Youth Law, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Immigrant Defense Advocates and the Vera Institute of Justice.