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There is currently a bill making its way through the California State Senate that is proposing a variety of wide and sweeping reforms to immigration in the state of California. More specifically, this bill aims to improve the amount of benefits that illegal immigrants receive (especially health benefits and free health insurance) – and it is one of the most hotly contested pieces of legislation in recent history.

According to proponents of the bill (State Senate Bill 4), more than 2.5 million people throughout California would be directly impacted by all of the immigration reform changes that it proposes – but every legal citizen of California would be touched by the bill because of the extreme price tag that it would carry across the board.

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The bill currently sits before the state Senate and Assembly, and will require passage in both of those bodies before it reaches Gov. Jerry Brown’s office to be signed. All three of these governmental organizations and individuals will have to agree to approve the bill as is for it to be processed into law, and right now Republicans and Democrats are in the firm belief that it just won’t come to fruition.

The main “sticking point” for this particular bill is that it would allow all illegal immigrants in the State of California to apply for (and be immediately approved for) the Medi-Cal state health insurance program for the poor. And while from a moral standpoint this position is quite admirable, it will also cost Californian citizens nearly $1.3 billion each and every year – and growing – to make the reforms a reality, according to critics.

Because this bill is so hotly contested (a bill written by Sen. Ricardo Lara, a Democrat from the LA suburb of Bell Gardens) most do not anticipate it becoming a reality. Not only that, but a previous bill trying to achieve the exact same thing written and offered by Sen. Lara was shut down last year because it was projected to cost even more than this one.

A lot of this bill hinges upon the dramatic impact that Pres. Barack Obama’s executive order that delays and protects more than 5 million illegal immigrants from being deported and the natural fallout from that position. However, that executive order is currently jammed up in federal court, with no real end in sight.

Proponents of the bill believe that this will finally give illegal immigrants the opportunity to take advantage of healthcare in the state of California that they wouldn’t have had access to otherwise. Currently, most of these illegal immigrants are pursuing healthcare made available for free clinics and even urgency problems, or simply go without – especially if they have grievous injuries or serious illnesses to contend with.

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Many of the opponents of this particular bill the believe in the moral standpoint that it takes, but argue that they simply will not place this burden on the taxpayers of California at a point in time when the government coffers all already in such disarray. If the cost can be brought down, many of them have already committed to changing their mind and making this bill a reality. But not until then critics urge.

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Each and every single year, thousands of immigrants in the United States (some of them here legally and longtime residents, others here illegally, and others still applying for US citizenship) are arrested and charged with driving under the influence – a DUI.

And while many of them are (understandably so) shaken to the very core because of the steep penalties that the US places on those that choose to drive while under the influence, almost all of them are universally shocked to discover that there are even more significant and steep penalties for immigrants that are charged with this crime all over the US.

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If you are an immigrant in the US and have been charged with a DUI or our friends with an immigrant that has been charged with this serious crime, it is of the utmost importance that you seek out professional legal assistance and representation at your earliest possible convenience.

This is something that you’re going to want to jump out ahead of and results as quickly and as painlessly as possible to ensure that you get the kinds of results you’re looking for, and that your immigration status is it negatively impacted.

There are serious consequences for immigration status when a DUI charge is levied

It’s important to understand that driving under the influence is considered to be a serious offense.

But those that are here as an immigrant are going to deal with the steepest consequences of them all.

Any DUI arrests, criminal charge, or conviction will likely impact the immigration status of anyone here in the United States. During the booking process, immigrants will potentially be fingerprinted and have photographs taken to be registered in the national database (just like anyone else), but those records can also go to the US Immigration and Nationalization Service.

That record is as permanent as it gets, and the information will potentially be brought up whenever an immigrant applies for work, applies for a visa renewal or asylum, hopes to have their immigration status adjusted, pursues naturalization, or tries to take advantage of refugee status with a travel document or green card.

On top of that, having even just a single criminal conviction on record (here in the United States or in your home country) can lead to a denial of admission into the United States or removal/deportation in some certain circumstances, but not necessarily for a DUI according to Colusa County DUI Attorney Michael Rehm.  A regular misdemeanor DUI is not considered a crime of moral turpitude according to federal immigration law, as long as no drugs were involved.

What kind of recourse do immigrants have available?

Obviously, immigrants will have an opportunity to plead their case and take advantage of the US legal system before they are convicted of any crimes – just like any US citizen would.

If an immigrant is unable to afford an attorney or representative one will be provided for them, and they will have every opportunity to take advantage of legal services and representation to help guide them through this oftentimes difficult process.

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It is critically important though that immigrants contact legal representatives as soon as reasonably possible to make sure that they stand every chance of not having their immigration status adjusted (or worse).

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