California: Lawmakers in California moves forward on statewide immigrant sanctuary bill.
Lawmakers in California have initial approved on Monday, April 3rd, 2017 a measure that makes California a statewide sanctuary for many people who are in the country illegally and prevents law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration officials.
The California State Senate passed the measure on a 27-12 vote, sending it to the state Assembly over the objection of opponents who said it endangers the public by shielding felons from being deported.
California’s statewide sanctuary bill, Senate Bill 54 (S.B. 54), would bar police and sheriffs from arresting or detaining people just for immigration violations unless a judge issues a warrant.
Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon’s recent amendments also make it easier for local law enforcement to hand over criminals to federal immigration officials if they were previously deported for a violent felony.
State and local law enforcement agencies would not be able to help investigate immigration violations or inquire about someone’s immigration status.
The measure also seeks to limit immigration enforcement activities in schools, courthouses and other public facilities.
** More Information at California Legislative Information: Senate Bill 54 (S.B. 54): **
Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon also stripped the bill of a provision that would have required a two-thirds vote.
Passing the measure with a simple majority means it wouldn’t take effect until Monday, January 1st, 2018, while the previous version would have taken effect immediately.
“We will cooperate with our friends at the federal level with serious and violent felons. But we won’t cooperate or lift a finger or spend a single cent when we’re talking about separating children from their mothers, mothers from their children. That’s not who we are as a great state,” said Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon.
In January 2017, United States of America President Donald Trump signed an order threatening to withdraw federal grants from jurisdictions that bar officials from communicating with federal authorities about someone’s immigration status.
“By passing this today you’ll be kicking the president right in the groin, and I can imagine he’s going to strike back,” said Republican Sen. Jeff Stone of Temecula, California.
The American Civil Liberties Union, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network and other supporters said the bill would give California some of the nation’s strongest anti-deportation protections.
State Senate Jeff Stone, a Republican representing southwest Riverside County, California, argued on the floor that he recognized many undocumented workers don’t commit crimes and play a vital role in California, but that’s not what Senate Bill 54 addresses.
“We’re prohibiting local and state unfettered communications with federal authorities in getting many dangerous and violent felons out of our communities,” said State Senate Jeff Stone.
Lawmakers in California also advanced 2 other bills in attempt to impede the United States of America President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.
Senate Bill 6 (S.B. 6) that would provide $12 million to pay lawyers for immigrants facing deportation, and Senate Bill 31 (S.B. 31) that would bar state officials from sharing data if the federal government creates a Muslim registry.
** More Information at California Legislative Information: Senate Bill 6 (S.B. 6): **
** More Information at California Legislative Information: Senate Bill 31 (S.B. 31): **
After the vote, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon said to news reporters outside the California State Senate Chamber, “This is an acknowledgement of the cultural and economic contributions made to our great state by immigrants from all over the world. And it is a rejection of President Trump’s false and cynical portrayal of undocumented immigrants as a lawless community.”
Senate Bill 54 heads to the California State Assembly, where Democrats hold a super majority, and if passes there, the bill would go to Democratic Governor Jerry Brown.
California is home to an estimated 2.3 million immigrants who do not have legal authorization.
There was no immediate response from the White House.