Governor Jerry Brown has signed a measure into law that's aimed at reducing deportations of legal immigrants convicted of misdemeanors.
SB 1310 cuts the maximum possible misdemeanor sentence in California by one day, from one year to 364 days.
Under federal law, a felony crime is punishable by 365 days or more, and that can trigger deportation.
The change could affect thousands of residents each year.
Critics say not all of the crimes covered by the new law are minor.
Republicans who oppose the measure say cruelty to animals, child neglect or identity theft could be covered in some cases.