California Expands Rights for Non-Citizens

Monday, September 23, 2013

Immigration reform activists protest on May 1, 2010 at the White House in Washington, D.C. (Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Shutterstock)

The battle over state rights in the U.S. court system has led to challenges of the federal government's role in health care, criminal law and voting rights, among other things. 

Three years ago Arizona and Alabama challenged federal immigration policy with tough deportation laws. Now the federal government is being challenged in a different way—but it might be just as controversial. 

Friendly immigration laws are coming from states and are attempting to grant some of the privileges of citizenship to non-citizen residents. California, in particular is expanding the rights of its 3.5 million legal non-citizens, allowing them to sit on juries, monitor polls for elections in which they cannot vote and even practice law.

Joining us to discuss this change is Kevin Johnson, UC Davis Law School Dean and Professor of Public Interest Law and Chicano Studies.


Kevin Johnson


T.J. Raphael

Comments [3]


WHAT. It is not fair that immigrants who are NOT citizens do not have a jury of their peers. How about the right of legal American citizens TO A JURY OF THEIR PEERS.

Let California become part of Mexico. Then see what happens when non-Mexicans try to enter.

Sep. 23 2013 11:26 PM
John from NJ

Yeah because we don't have enough problems with over population of lawyers. Lets give someone who's not a citizen, didn't pass the bar exam in CA, the right to practice!?!? I'm sorry but shouldn't we be taking care of our own first?

Oh and give illegals, who don't pay taxes, but get free services, a right to all these things--without paying????

Wow. Just wow.

Sep. 23 2013 03:45 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Nobody wants to serve jury duty in this country, how do you change that? There needs to be a perk, like; Serve Jury Duty and get 50 percent off tickets to Disney Land...Everybody will be lining up!

I love the idea of undocumented citizens serving jury duty... I fully understand that this is not what is being proposed, I just love the idea of Border Police bringing undocumented citizens not back across the border but to a jury room.

Sep. 23 2013 01:39 PM

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