STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2767
RE: S.B. No. 3141
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2020
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Labor, Culture and the Arts, to which was referred S.B. No. 3141 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO LEGAL SERVICES FOR LOW‑INCOME IMMIGRANTS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to appropriate funds to the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Office of Community Services to contract with non—profit service providers for legal counsel to assist and represent low—income immigrants in immigration proceedings and immigrant status cases.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Human Services, Office of Community Services, Filipina Advocacy Network, The Legal Clinic, Filipinos for Affirmative Action, Domestic Violence Action Center, and eight individuals.
Your Committee finds that many immigrants seek to continue or obtain legal status and citizenship in this country. However, they face barriers to obtaining legal status and citizenship. Low—income immigrants often lack the resources to obtain legal representation, which may have a profound impact on the immigrants' ability to receive a fair hearing.
Your Committee further finds that immigrants are an integral part of Hawaii's diverse, multicultural community and make extensive contributions to the State. Given the current political climate, a significant number of low—income immigrants are at risk of being detained or deported. Therefore, there are vital public policy reasons behind providing counsel to immigrants in immigration proceedings.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Changing the effective date to July 1, 2050, to encourage further discussion;
(2) Inserting a blank appropriation amount; and
(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Labor, Culture and the Arts that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 3141, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 3141, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Labor, Culture and the Arts,
BRIAN T. TANIGUCHI, Chair