In order to clarify this issue, and ensure that these children receive the care and protections they deserve, a broad coalition of children’s and immigrants’ rights advocates and lawmakers have joined together to support AB 1140, the Unaccompanied Immigrant Children Protections Act authored by Asm. Robert Rivas (D-Hollister).
AB 1140 takes the important step of demonstrating California’s leadership in ensuring that there will be no “separate but equal” system for immigrant children in state-licensed residential settings. It does this by clarifying that these children are under the jurisdiction of the California Office of the Foster Care Ombudsperson. The Ombudsperson is charged with overseeing the rights of children in these facilities, as an independent, impartial, and confidential agency trained to investigate complaints about the treatment of youth in state-licensed residential settings, and to educate youth and licensed programs about their rights and responsibilities under California law.