Residents of South Carolina might be interested to learn about a new immigration initiative in California. The initiative would allow undocumented immigrants in California to become legal residents of the state after they have lived there for at least five years. With California residency, the undocumented immigrants would be allowed to live in the state lawfully, attend school and apply for jobs.
The immigration initiative, created by a group called Sovereign California, Inc., is reportedly gaining momentum. In order for it to be included on the 2016 ballot, backers will have to collect 365,880 signatures by Dec. 21 from people who are registered to vote in California. The president of Sovereign California said that the initiative would allow immigrants without green cards to be considered legal residents of California as long as they pay taxes and get immunizations.
California Gov. Jerry Brown has been noted for his support of statewide immigration reform. In 2014, Brown signed a bill that allowed foreign-born residents without legal immigration documents to obtain state licenses that are required for various professions. A spokesperson for the California Immigrant Policy Center commented that Brown and immigration advocates in the state have always tried to meet the needs of California's residents.
Immigration policies in the U.S. are always changing. A person who does not have legal documents to stay in the U.S. may have some options available to them that they are not aware of. Speaking with an immigration attorney may be a good way for an undocumented immigrant to find out about some programs that they might qualify for.
Source: International Business Times, "Immigration Reform: Signature Collection Underway For California Initiative To Give Undocumented Immigrants Residency," Philip Ross, June 26, 2015