The major immigration issue taken this year was the Governor’s support of President Bush’s deployment of National Guard troops along the Mexican border to assist the United States Border Patrol which the Governor was reluctant to do at first. The Governor deployed 1,000 Guard members and has expressed that the commitment of Guard troops is only until 2008.

Legislation which was enacted concerning immigration included SB 1569 (Kuehl) extending eligibility for state and local public benefits, Medi-Cal, health care and refugee cash assistance and employment services to non-citizen victims of trafficking, domestic violence, and other serious crimes to the same extent as available to persons admitted to the United States as refugees; AB 630 (Chu) enhancing the law regulating immigration consultants; and AB 1808 (Assembly Budget Committee) and AB 2060 (De La Torre) establishing and codifying the Naturalization Services Program.

Vetoed legislation of note included SB 160 (Cedillo) requesting the University of California and required the California State University, and the California Community Colleges to establish procedures and forms to enable students who are exempt from paying nonresident tuition, based on their three-year attendance at, and graduation from, a California high school, to participated in all student aid programs administered by these segments; and SB 1160 (Cedillo) allowing driver’s licenses that may be used only for driving purposes to be issued to persons without proof of legal presence in the United States.