California’s diversity has always been one of the state’s greatest strengths; and as the immigration debate has intensified over the past decade, a variety of laws have been passed to try and maintain that diverse climate.

Recently, laws have been passed to give people under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program a better chance of making their life in the United States a good one. For example, California passed a law that allows DACA immigrants to apply for and receive a driver’s license.

Now California lawmakers are pushing for increased rights for people who have been approved for the DACA program. Assembly Bill 35, if passed, would give DACA members access to a number of services, such as the ability to obtain a state ID card, to garner unemployment benefits and to use state-run medical programs and services.

The fate of AB 35 is yet to be seen; but given recent California immigration laws that have passed, it certainly has a good chance of passing. Giving immigrants who qualify for DACA access to vital services that U.S. citizens enjoy would be another huge step towards fostering — and upholding — the diverse culture the state of California takes pride in.

So what can young illegal immigrants do to help themselves in the meantime? The first thing is to learn all you can about the DACA program. Know the minimum requirements and the documentation needed to apply. Applying for the DACA program is not a straightforward endeavor, so bringing an experienced immigration attorney into the fold to help you with any questions or concerns you have about the DACA program is another important step.

Source: Sacramento Bee, “Undocumented immigrants could get jobless benefits,” Jim Sanders, Dec. 12, 2012