Majority Leader Reyes Introduces Bill to Assist Immigrant Families Separated at the Border.

Monday, January 4, 2021

Sacramento - Majority Leader Eloise Gómez Reyes (D -San Bernardino) introduced her first bill of the Legislative session, AB 47 which creates multi-tiered and coordinated immigration support services to children and families who have been separated at the border as a result of the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy.

“AB 47 serves to bridge the gap between immigrant families and the support services they need to be prosperous and overcome the effects of family separation,” Majority Leader Reyes continued, “Community based organizations and nonprofits are already providing quality services, it's only a matter of efficiently connecting families to the resources available to them. AB 47 would create a unified approach to getting families the services they need.”   

Currently, at least 2,654 children have been detained separately from their families at the southern border enduring unnecessary traumatic experiences while navigating the immigration process. Many separated families have since been reunified and reside in California. Families must now deal with the trauma of the “zero tolerance” policy and although the Federal government was ordered to provide mental health screenings and treatment, services have been limited and lack the coordination needed to meet immigrant family needs.

AB 47 would direct the department of Social Services to partner with qualified organizations to provide a “multi-tiered and Coordinated Immigration Support Service” which would include initial triage and connection to resources including: culturally relevant physical and behavioral health care, legal services, and food and grocery resources. AB 47 is a crucial step to ensuring families are connected to the support services they need to mitigate the negative effects of family separation.