Lawmakers Vote To Make California A 'Sanctuary State'
Sep 17 2017
In the latest move by local and state officials across the country to fight back against the Trump administration's immigration crackdown, California lawmakers on Saturday morning passedSenate Bill 54, known informally as the "sanctuary state" bill.
The bill prohibits law-enforcement from conducting front-line immigration enforcement but allows jail officials to notify federal agents about some people in detention.
There are an estimated 2.3 million undocumented immigrants in California, and Republicans opposed to the measure say it will protect criminals.
But amendments added this week would permit officers to continue sharing information and transferring people for immigration authorities if they have convictions for one or more of roughly 800 crimes.
California Lawmakers pass a Senate bill that would turn the state into a sanctuary state for undocumented immigrants.
"This comes as a relief that there are some legislators that are really listening", Pablo Alvarado, executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, told CBS.
Under SB54, federal immigration agents will no longer be allowed to have office space in jails, and local law enforcement officers will be prohibited from asking people about their immigration status, arresting people on immigration warrants, or acting as immigration agents, according to The Mercury News.
The bill will prevent local police from becoming "cogs in the Trump deportation machine", de Leon said. The compromise helped shift the Police Chiefs Association's stance to "neutral". "The only thing this bill provides a sanctuary for is risky criminals", said Assemblyman James Gallagher, a Republican from Nicolaus.
Acting Director Thomas Homan says in a statement Saturday that the legislation "serves to codify a risky policy that deliberately obstructs our country's immigration laws".
A federal judge in Chicago ruled Friday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions can not follow through with his threat to withhold public safety grant money to so-called sanctuary cities for refusing his order to impose tough immigration policies. A San Francisco judge blocked the order. The Sheriffs' Association is still against the bill.