Calif. bill providing legal aid to illegal immigrant convicts of violent felonies yanked

The Southern California Democrat faced significant blowback to his proposal on Monday ahead of a scheduled committee hearing.

Asm. Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D–Los Angeles) has pulled his bill that would have provided legal aid to illegal immigrants who have been convicted of a violent or serious felony. 

The bill was scheduled to be heard by the Assembly Committee on Judiciary on Tuesday. 


The big picture: Jones-Sawyer pulled Assembly Bill 2031 late Monday after Republican lawmakers urged Californians to call their legislators to speak out against the proposal. 

  • It is unknown if Jones-Sawyer is killing AB 2031 for good or will bring it back another time. 

The backstory: AB 2031 – known as the Representation, Equity and Protections for All Immigrants Act – would have allowed California to provide grant funding to nonprofits to assist illegal immigrants who have been convicted of a violent or serious felony. 

  • Current California law prevents such people from receiving legal aid from state grants. 
  • California’s legal aid program for immigrants started in 2015 with the One California Immigration Services Funding Program. 
  • When Jones-Sawyer introduced the bill last month, he said California needs to ensure equity for everyone. 

What they’re saying: Asm. Bill Essayli (R–Corona), one of the lawmakers who spoke out against AB 2031, announced on X that Jones-Sawyer pulled the bill. 

  • “In the meantime this is a huge win for the People of California who made their voices heard and called their elected officials to oppose this dangerous policy,” Essayli said. “We need to assist the Feds in deporting criminal illegal immigrants, not fighting to keep them in our country to pray [sic] on future victims.” 
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