- Associated Press - Monday, June 1, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The California state Senate has approved a bill to help immigrant victims of crime avoid detention and deportation.

Senators on Monday voted 35-0 to approve the proposal by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins.

SB674 would allow immigrant victims of crime to apply for the federal Victim of Crime Visa, known as a U-Visa.

De Leon, a Los Angeles Democrat, says the bill requires local law enforcement to sign certifications for immigrants who are victims and have been helpful in investigating crimes like human trafficking, rape and sexual assault. The certifications are necessary before immigrants can apply for U-Visas.

The bill is one in a package of Democratic proposals this year in response to federal inaction on immigration reform.

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