What we have been saying all along. It is no coincidence that California is now an exemplary state in its support of undocumented immigrants. It was not that long ago that the voters supported anti-immigrant policies Proposition 187, Prop 209, and English Only in California. Today, the majority of voters support legalization – and it has been a combination of marching, protesting, and grass-roots organizing that has resulted in pro-immigrant legislation supporting: cities opting out of e-verify, the right of undocumented students to attend college with financial aid, the right of anyone stopped at a DUI checkpoint to call a friend or relative with a license to pick up their car, and now a bill, AB 60 that would give a California driver’s license to any person who shows payment of taxes, regardless of their immigration status. There is no better example of the use of these strategies than that of the Dreamers who, before the 2012 elections, showed the capacities for exerting political power by presenting 11,000 signatures, courageously leading protests in the streets, putting their undocumented status on the line and courageously holding a series of sit-ins across the country. It was this pressure, and the work of many community-based legal teams, that led to Obama’s executive order granting “deferred action status” and implementing a Deferred Action Policy. History shows that strikes, fasts, marches, protests, etc. — are effective and can result in gains for our communities – and can be further strengthened if also combined with electoral strategies that can elect representatives that represent the interests of our communities and are held accountable after they are elected.
Read the The New York Times Article: California Gives Expanded Rights to Noncitizens