CA State Senate passes “sanctuary state” bill
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A series of bills, including a so-called “sanctuary state” bill recently passed the California state senate. The primary bill, SB54, was sponsored by State Senate leader Kevin de Léon (D).
Under this bill, state and local agencies cannot “[use] resources to investigate, detain, report, or arrest people for immigration violations.” Also, county jails cannot work with ICE officers or inform them of prisoner releases. According to The New York Times, the bill was later amended to allow notification of ICE in the event of violent felons’ releases.
President Pro Tempore Léon stated, “Our communities will become more, not less, dangerous if local police are enlisted to enforce federal immigration laws.”
The San Francisco Chronicle reported on Sheriff John D’Agostini of conservative El Dorado County, who expressed displeasure with the law. D’Agostini said, “I’m going to follow federal law on this issue.” The sheriff believes “it’s not lawful” for the bill to block local authorities from sharing criminal information with those at the federal level.
The state assembly passed a bill which prohibits “law enforcement officers from detaining a crime victim or witness on immigration charges or violations.” As reported by the LA Times, Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer said this bill “opens collaboration of all individuals with law enforcement.”
Another bill passed was SB6, which seeks to create a $12 million defense fund for immigrants facing deportation without a prior violent felony. Sen. Joel Anderson (R) “argued Democrats were trying to have it both ways” by passing a bill that blocks state agencies from assisting federal agencies, while also passing a bill that spends state money for defense from federal immigration laws.
One bill did pass unanimously an effort to stop a “Muslim registry.” Under the law, state and local agencies cannot “[provide] or [disclose] religious affiliation information to the federal government.” The LA Times reports that the bill was introduced by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D), and Sen. Anderson coauthored it.