By Dan Aiello
More than 50 transgender Californians and non-U.S. residents gathered at the West Steps of the Capitol in Sacramento Monday, May 21 as they prepared to lobby legislators on behalf of two bills aimed at addressing discrimination against transgender youth in California’s foster care system and non-US residents victims of crime who risk deportation under federal law.
Both Assembly bills are authored by out Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco).
Assembly Bill 1081 would reform California’s participation in the federal government’s controversial Secure Communities, or S-Comm program. The federal program was intended to target serious offenders who were non-residents of the U.S., but according Transgender Advocacy Day sponsors, has led to the unintended consequences of non-U.S. resident victims of crime being victimized twice – the crime itself and then deportation – and a general undermining of the relationship between local law enforcement and the Latino and Pacific Rim communities.