California will soon be a 'sanctuary state' for undocumented immigrants

Michele Moreno
September 17, 2017

California lawmakers are preparing to vote on a "sanctuary state" bill that would expand protections for people living in the country illegally who come into contact with law enforcement.

SB54, which would limit local law enforcement officials' ability to coordinate with federal immigration officials, was passed at 1:45 a.m.

There are an estimated 2.3 million undocumented immigrants in California, and Republicans opposed to the measure say it will protect criminals.

Some immigrant rights advocates who were previously disappointed with the list of offenses under the Trust Act, were dismayed to see the same exceptions applied in the so-called sanctuary state bill.

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.

Brown has backed the bill and is expected to sign it into law, despite the Trump Administration rejection of sanctuary cities and states.

"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.

The bill will prohibit additional jail time meant to allow immigration enforcement officials to take undocumented immigrants arrested for other reasons into custody.

The California Police Chiefs Association went neutral on the measure after Brown's demands were reflected in the last round of amendments.

Assembly members debating the final bills of the year on Friday.

The bill will prevent local police from becoming "cogs in the Trump deportation machine", de Leon said.

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". "We believe in the American dream, and this bill today helps some of us believe California is a safe place for immigrants".

Among the passages cleared: San Francisco Sen. For the first time in years, the Legislature has created a new, dedicated funding source to house those in our communities struggling the most. They've passed legislation and filed lawsuits aimed at protecting immigrants, combating climate change and blocking any future attempt to build a registry of Muslims.

Other reports by Insurance News

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