California stands at odds with Federal immigration laws and policies. As the Trump administration ramps up ICE activity and seeks to build a wall between Mexico and the United States, California lawmakers are offering resistance and opposition at every turn, most recently with the passage of SB54, the California Sanctuary State Bill. What happens when the most-populous state in the US takes on the Feds in one of the hot-button issues of the day?

Capitol Weekly’s Conference on Immigration featured four panels examining the current Immigration debate, plus a Keynote speech from Tomas Evangelista, a DACA recipient who co-founded California Dreamers.


8:30 a.m.  – 9:15 a.m. Check in, coffee

9:15 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Welcoming remarks: Rob Gunnison, Open California; Tim Foster, Open California

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.Panel 1
Labor and the Economy
From farmworkers to highly-skilled technology experts, immigrants play a huge role in the California economy. We’ll look at the numbers, benefits and costs of immigration.

Sandra Diaz, SEIU; Peter Leroe-Muñoz, Silicon Valley Leadership Group; Jason Resnick, Western Growers Association; Rob Sanger, California Manufacturers and Technology Association;

Moderator: Dan Morain, Sacramento Bee

10:50 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.Panel 2
Sanctuary State/Cities
California’s new Sanctuary State bill expands protections that already existed in many California cities. What are the real-world impacts of this and other Sanctuary laws?

Steve Hansen, Sacramento City Council, Jennie Pasquarella, ACLU of Southern California; Arnoldo Torres, Torres and Torres;
Moderator: Laurel Rosenhall, CALmatters

Luncheon Keynote: Noon
Tomas Evangelista, co-Founder of California Dreamers
Introduced by John Howard, Capitol Weekly

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.Panel 3
Families and Community
What impact are travel bans, changes to DACA, stepped up ICE raids and other Trump administration policies having on immigrants and their communities?

Ted Lempert, Children Now; Andrew Medina, Asian Americans Advancing Justice; Doug Ose, Former Member of Congress; Jose Plaza, The California Endowment

Moderator: Rich Ehisen, State Net Capitol Reports

2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.mPanel 4
Look-Ahead: What Happens Next?
The immigration debate around Proposition 187 profoundly changed California; what will be the ultimate impact of the Trump administration’s policies – and the state’s reaction to them?

Hector Barajas, Merino, Barajas & Allen; Mindy Romero, California Civic Engagement Project; Michael Wagaman, Wagaman Strategies; Bill Wong, Adviser, Asian Pacific Islander political strategist

Moderator: Chiqui Cartagena, Univision



The California Endowment, The Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations, Univision, Western States Petroleum Association, KP Public Affairs, Pandora, California Professional Firefighters, The State Building and Construction Trades Council of  California, The California Channel and The California Center.

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