California has passed a new state law that requires local authorities to notify detained immigrants of their rights before they undergo questioning by federal agents. More specifically, local law enforcement agents must inform immigrants that they have the right to refuse to speak to a federal agent and/or the right to have a lawyer present during any questioning. The law applies only to immigrants who have been arrested on a criminal charge and whom immigration officials have identified as being subject to deportation. A 2013 California state law also eliminated the requirement for local authorities to keep immigrants in custody and turn them over to federal agents; nonetheless, many local law enforcement agencies still notify ICE in advance of an immigrant’s release from jail. According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), however, California’s new law violates existing federal law, and may make it more difficult for federal authorities to deport dangerous people. While the California assemblyman who sponsored the legislation sought to protect the rights of immigrants and highlight flawed federal priorities, at least in terms of separating parents and children from their families, ICE maintains that advising immigrants of their rights conflicts with the need to conduct in-person interviews with these individuals. The goal of these interviews, ICE claims, is to properly identify, detain, and ultimately deport those individuals who present a danger to others. Nonetheless, the California legislature and governor have taken an important step toward protecting the basic of legal rights of immigrants. Individuals who believe that they have a valid defense to deportation need an experienced California immigration attorney who can assist you through the often complex process of fighting deportation charges. At Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., we know how to stand up for the rights of those who are legally entitled to remain in the U.S. Call us today at (510) 756-4468 and schedule an appointment with one of our deportation defense lawyers, and learn what we can do to represent your interests.