LCCR Applauds Signing of Immigrant Business Inclusion Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from LCCR – SF Bay Area
September 18, 2018
Contact: Matt Kovac, mkovac@lccr.com, (415) 510-9601

LCCR Applauds Signing of Immigrant Business Inclusion Act
New law ends discrimination in business license applications

SAN FRANCISCO – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR) applauds Gov. Brown’s recent signing into law of AB 2184, the Immigrant Business Inclusion Act, which requires local governments to accept alternatives to Social Security Numbers on business license applications. AB 2184 was co-sponsored by LCCR and the California Immigrant Policy Center. It was introduced by Assemblymember David Chiu.

“Even as California has led the nation in building an inclusive economy, regardless of immigration status, systemic barriers continue to deter immigrant-run businesses,” said Sushil Jacob, Senior Attorney for Economic Justice. “The Immigrant Business Inclusion Act will end status-based discrimination in business licensing and allow more entrepreneurs to formalize their businesses.”

Nearly half of California cities require local entrepreneurs to provide a Social Security Number (SSN) on the application form. This prevents entrepreneurs without SSNs from formalizing their businesses and complying with local regulations, putting them at risk for fines and fees.

Under the new law, immigrant entrepreneurs may provide Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, California driver’s licenses, or municipal IDs instead. This particularly benefits sole proprietors, including house cleaners, freelancers, street vendors, and drivers.

The law also protects the privacy of personal information, such as home addresses and identification numbers, submitted on local business license application forms– which benefits both immigrant and non-immigrant applicants.

“The federal government’s attacks on DACA and Temporary Protected Status designations have stripped away employment protections for many people,” Jacob said. “For these communities, self-employment is the only way to support their families. This Act provides a means of complying with local regulations while building economic power in their communities.”

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