Cal­i­for­nia law­mak­ers ap­prove di­aled-back ‘sanc­tu­ary state’ bill

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - NATION - By Jazmine Ul­loa

1 SACRA­MENTO, CALIF. >> Cal­i­for­nia law­mak­ers on Saturday passed a “sanc­tu­ary state” bill to pro­tect im­mi­grants with­out le­gal res­i­dency in the U.S., part of a broader push by Democrats to counter ex­panded de­por­ta­tion or­ders un­der the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The leg­is­la­tion by Demo­cratic Sen. 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.

Af­ter pas­sion­ate de­bate in both houses of the Leg­is­la­ture, staunch op­po­si­tion from Repub­li­can sher­iffs and threats from Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials against sanc­tu­ary cities, Se­nate Bill 54 was ap­proved Saturday by a 27-11 vote along party lines. But the bill sent to Gov. Jerry Brown dras­ti­cally scaled back the ver­sion first in­tro­duced, the re­sult of tough ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween Brown and De Leon in the fi­nal weeks of the leg­isla­tive ses­sion.

The de­ci­sion came hours af­ter a fed­eral judge in Chicago blocked the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s move to with­hold Jus­tice Depart­ment grant funds to dis­cour­age so-called sanc­tu­ary city poli­cies.

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

Of­fi­cially dubbed the Cal­i­for­nia Val­ues Act, the leg­is­la­tion ini­tially would have pro­hib­ited state and lo­cal law en­force­ment agen­cies from us­ing any re­sources to hold or ques­tion peo­ple or share in­for­ma­tion about them with fed­eral im­mi­gra­tion agents un­less they had vi­o­lent or se­ri­ous crim­i­nal con­vic­tions.

Af­ter the ne­go­ti­a­tions with Brown, amend­ments made to the bill would al­low fed­eral im­mi­gra­tion au­thor­i­ties to keep work­ing with state cor­rec­tions of­fi­cials and to con­tinue en­ter­ing county jails to ques­tion im­mi­grants. The leg­is­la­tion would also per­mit po­lice and sher­iffs to share in­for­ma­tion and trans­fer peo­ple to im­mi­gra­tion au­thor­i­ties if they have been con­victed of one or more crimes from a list of 800 out­lined in a pre­vi­ous law.

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