New California Legislation Can Affect Chinese Residents

The United States is a country of laws. California is no different. In fact, California has one of the most complicated laws in the United States. This year, 930 new laws will affect California residents. The most important laws affecting the Chinese community are presented for your review.

AB60 (Driver's Licenses for Illegal Immigrants): Assembly Bill (AB) 60 (Chapter 524: Statutes of 2013) requires the department to issue an original driver license to an applicant who is unable to submit satisfactory proof of legal presence in the United States. Driver license applicants under AB 60 must meet all other qualifications for licensure and must provide satisfactory proof of identity and California residency. Although you can be an illegal resident in California you must still do the following: (1) Pass a test; (2) Pass a Vision Test; (3) Have thumb and picture taken; and (4) Prove residency.

Previously, to prove residency, DMV required you to show you were legally here in the United States. Now, you only need to prove residence, not legal residence.

The way of proving residence is by a combination of the following: (1) Having a passport issued after 2007 (Taiwan after 12/28/2009); or as many of the following (2) School documents; Income tax returns; foreign passport before 2007; and at least three items of the following (3) rental/lease agreements, mortgage bills, employment documents, IRS bill, property bill, tax statement, medical records, or home utility bills.

DMV understands that many illegal aliens do not have many documents. At minimum, bring as many documents as you can find that have: (1) Your first name; (2) last name; and (3) California residence address.

Professional Licenses can be obtained by Illegal Aliens: Those in the country illegally will no longer need a Social Security number to obtain state licenses to work as doctors, dentists, nurses, barbers, security guards or for many other jobs.

AB1147 (Return of Power to Cities regarding Massage Parlors): In 2008, California passed a law to create a Massage Council in which many of the decisions related to licensing rested with a Board, located in Sacramento. Since then, in many cities, there has been over a 600% increase in massage businesses. Although residents have opposed these business as businesses selling sex, cities were unable to control them because of the 2008 law. That has changed and as of January 1, 2015, local control over massage businesses has mostly returned to the cities. We expect hundreds of massage businesses to be closed in Southern California within the next two years. Many business owners, in advance of the new law, have been selling their business, some for as little as $10,000.00.

Proposition 47 (Reassessment of Crime): Many people were unable to get their citizenship because of past crimes. Many non-violent crimes are now being reassessed. Unfortunately, if you are not in prison, you must apply yourself. The process is easy and does not require a Court appearance unless the Prosecutor opposes reassessment.

Please go to the local public defender's office to get the form. A generic sample form is found here; your County may have its own form: http://libcloud.s3.amazonaws.com/211/f2/8/516/P47_Form_111014v1.pdf.

AB1897 (Personal Liability): Previously, employers using third party companies were not liable if those third party companies were failing to comply with California law. Many employers have now said that this new is a "job-killer" because employers can no longer depend on hiring professional staffing agencies to shield them from liability. Employers have said if they must be responsible for staffing agency conduct, they would rather not hire new employees.

AB420 (No Discipline for Students): This affects many Chinese because schools from kindergarten through third grade can no longer suspend students for willful defiance alone. Each year, over 750,000 students are suspended from school. This will greatly reduce the ability of a school to protect good students from bad ones. Many Chinese parents opposed this law, as well as many teachers. Teachers have said that if you do not suspend students you must provide funding to address students' behavior issues. This law provides no help for students that you can no longer expel.

AB1965 (Dogs Allowed at Restaurants): Previously, dogs were only allowed at businesses if they were for medical purposes. This new law allows dog owners to bring their pets to a restaurant if: (1) they are under control; and (2) if the restaurant does not object.

SB967 (Yes Means Yes): Requires colleges that receive state funding to establish protocols and teach their students what it means for consensual sex as well as have programs for victims of sexual assault. Some have argued that this law requires students to learn about sex, no matter their religious or moral beliefs. Others have said that due to the amount of sex in colleges and underage drinking, this law is long overdue.

Affordable Care Act (Forced Insurance): If you are a taxpayer in California, you are required to show that you have health insurance. If you do not, you will pay a penalty. The fines are $95 per adult and $47.50 per child.

Human Trafficking Law (Forgiveness in Prostitution): Those convicted of solicitation or prostitution may have the conviction set aside if he or she was a victim of human trafficking.

Projections about Laws/Cases affecting Chinese people

(1) EB-5 Fraud: Many regional centers are under investigation or being closed down by USCIS because of wrongful conduct. We expect more lawsuits in this area as defrauded investors begin to ask where their money disappeared to.

(2) Non-Licensure of Businesses: California has over forty types of licenses. Many unlicensed Chinese business owners will get sued by upset customers. In California, failure to have a license when one is needed is a criminal act and a person that does not have license automatically loses in Court. In some professions, even the money already paid to the unlicensed person must be disgorged. This is even if the client is happy with your services and initially agrees with your non-licensure.

(3) 10-Year Visa will continue, but quantity of rejections will increase soon: Everyone that is currently applying to the United States using B1/B2 are getting a 10-year visa. However, it is our belief that rejections will increase after two years due to backlash from the number of Chinese people entering the United States. If you have not applied, now is the time.