Bill amended to remove sweeping disclosure prohibitions of undocumented resident information

On Tuesday, Senator Ricardo Lara (D-South Gate) told the Assembly Judiciary Committee he would accept amendments to his SB 244 that would restore public access to critical information collected by the universities, colleges, or state or local agencies that the bill proposed to substantially prohibit.

The amendments were negotiated between Sen. Lara’s office, the bill’s sponsor – the ACLU and CNPA to address CNPA’s opposition to the bill.

The legislation was introduced to shield information from the federal government about undocumented persons that are involved in state programs or receive state services although it’s not altogether clear whether the federal government would be able to obtain the information through other means.

SB 244 creates a new exemption in the California Public Records Act that would prohibit disclosure of “sensitive personal information” about any person that applies for uses or receives a government program or service. Sensitive personal information would no longer include residential addresses, dates of birth and crime information.

After the amendments were accepted by the author, the bill was passed by the committee on an 8-2 vote.

SB 244 is one of several measures introduced this year designed to protect undocumented persons from intensified enforcement of federal immigration laws by the Department of Homeland Security and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

The bill is scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee before the Legislature adjourns for its summer recess on July 21.
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