California Sanctuary State bill approved by State Assembly

Posted September 17, 2017

It prohibits law enforcement officials from asking about a person's immigration status or participating in immigration enforcement efforts.

The California State Assembly Friday afternoon approved a "Sanctuary State" bill that would limit police cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

The bill was introduced just before President Trump's inauguration and met opposition from some in California law enforcement, including many local sheriffs who lobbied California Gov. The Trump administration is playing politics with public safety.

Shortly after Trump won election last fall, de León's staff invited several immigration lawyers to join a conference call and asked them to bring ideas that were considered politically infeasible under the Obama administration back to the table in California. Jerry Brown, who announced his support this week after the top Senate leader, the bill's author, agreed to water it down and preserve authority for jail and prison officials to cooperate with immigration officers in many cases.

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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. "This bill builds a wall between the federal government and our local partners and makes our communities less safe", said James Gallagher, a Republican assemblyman. The Sheriffs' Association is still against the bill.

Democrats used supermajorities in the state Capitol to pass the bill they viewed as important to highlighting California's stance on shielding its estimated 2.3 million undocumented immigrants from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "At a time when police data indicates that domestic violence and sexual assault reporting is plummeting among Latinos, California has a moral obligation to ensure law enforcement agents treat everyone fairly, no matter their background, what they look like, or where they are born".

The bill will prevent local police from becoming "cogs in the Trump deportation machine", de Leon said. Republican Senator Jim Nielsen of Gerber said, "I think it's ironic to have the state of California or the agency heads of California, willfully advocating the violation of federal law".