California Goes Full Sanctuary State With Sweeping Immigration Bill

California Goes Full Sanctuary State With Sweeping Immigration Bill

Jerry Brown and the bill's author, Sen.

There was no spoken opposition as the Assembly agreed with Senate restrictions on a 41-25 vote.

Kevin de Leon, the most far-reaching of its kind in the country, would limit state and local law enforcement communication with federal immigration authorities, and prevent officers from questioning and holding people on immigration violations.

Police and sheriff's officials, including jail officers, will still be able to work with federal immigration authorities if a person has been convicted of one of some 800 crimes, mostly felonies and misdemeanors that can be charged as felonies. The state's affordability issues have been decades in the making, and they may get worse before they get better, with hundreds of communities across California still refusing to approve adequate housing-either because they don't want it or because the projects don't pencil out for either builders or cities.

Republicans say the bill, SB54, would only provide comfort to people who commit crimes and would force immigration agents to conduct neighborhood raids if their actions are restricted in jails.

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.

"Our overarching concern remains that limiting local law enforcement's ability to communicate and cooperate with federal law enforcement officers endangers public safety", the group said in a statement.

On the Senate floor minutes before 2 a.m. Saturday, De Leon said the changes were reasonable, and reflected a powerful compromise between law enforcement officials and advocates.

"This bill here today helps some of us to believe that California is a safe place for immigrants, that we are a Golden State", said Democratic Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula, the grandson of immigrants who came to California illegally. "It's going to protect the criminal at the expense of the law abiding citizen".

"We hope that it will serve as a model for other states and encourage them to adopt similar protections", said Jenny Pasquarella, immigrant rights director for the American Civil Liberties Union of California.

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