Policy Advocacy

CGRS-California Managing Attorney Christine Lin at Immigrant Day

CGRS-California Managing Attorney Christine Lin joins fellow immigration advocates from across California in Sacramento for Immigrant Day 2016

CGRS-California advances pro-refugee policies and procedures through advocacy and education of national, state, and local government contacts, the legal community, immigrant and refugee communities, and the general public. Immigration and refugee law is made at the federal level, but it directly affects refugees and immigrants residing in California. CGRS-California analyzes immigration policy through research and tracking of cases, and educates the California legal, immigrant, and refugee communities about legislation and other policy proposals and their implications. The goal of this work is to promote law and public policies and procedures that recognize and advance the rights of asylum seekers and other immigrants seeking status in the United States and that align with international norms.

CGRS-California has led efforts to seek legislative support for key federal immigration bills by mobilizing California-based immigrant rights’ groups to sign-on to letters urging support from members of Congress and liaising with congressional staff on behalf of constituent groups. In February 2016, for example, CGRS-California brought together twenty-one organizations from across California to send a letter to Senator Feinstein (D-CA) urging her support for the Fair Day in Court for Kids Act, a bill that would provide counsel and other due process protections for unaccompanied immigrant children in immigration court proceedings.

This past May, CGRS-California participated in Immigrant Day in Sacramento as a member of a group coordinated by the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association (AILA) Northern California Chapter, and met with state legislators to seek support on the TRUTH Act, Dignity Not Detention Act, One California, and other state immigration bills that further the rights of indigent immigrants.

CGRS-California recently came out in strong support of the Refugee Protection Act, a bill that seeks to eliminate technical procedural barriers to asylum and promote greater due process and efficiency to asylum, providing greater protections in particular to children and survivors of gender-based violence, including via provision of counsel to children and other vulnerable asylum seekers.