STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2565
RE: S.B. No. 2829
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2020
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred S.B. No. 2829 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO IMMIGRATION,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to make an appropriation to the Judiciary to contract with nonprofit organizations to provide legal assistance and legal counsel to immigrants in determining legal status and citizenship, provide diversion to existing services, and otherwise provide counsel for existing rights.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Judiciary, Department of Human Services, Filipina Advocacy Network, Filipinos for Affirmative Action, Americans for Democratic Action, The Legal Clinic, and seven individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from one individual.
Your Committee finds that immigrants often require legal assistance to continue their legal residence, gain employment or permanent housing, obtain fundamental needs, and otherwise uphold their rights. Hawaii has always embraced a welcoming attitude for people of all backgrounds, nationalities, and ethnicities. According to the 2017 American Immigration Council Fact Sheet, nearly eighteen percent of Hawaii residents are immigrants, while more than one in seven residents is a native-born United States citizen with at least one immigrant parent. Immigrants are an integral part of Hawaii's diverse, multicultural community and make extensive contributions to the State. Your Committee finds that funding is needed to provide individuals and families living in Hawaii with the legal assistance needed to remove barriers created by their immigration status.
Your Committee has amended this measure by inserting an appropriation amount of $150,000 for FY 2020-2021 to the Judiciary to contract with nonprofit organizations to provide legal assistance and legal counsel to immigrants in determining legal status and citizenship, provide diversion to existing services, and otherwise provide counsel for existing rights.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2829, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2829, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary,
KARL RHOADS, Chair