Despite opposition from sheriffs’ unions and the California Police Chiefs Association, the California Assembly Judiciary Committee is moving toward making the state a sanctuary for illegal aliens.
State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon, D-Los Angeles, said his proposed legislation, Senate Bill 54 or the “California Values Act,” is aimed at preventing state and local law enforcement from cooperating with the so-called “Trump Deportation Machine.”
Critics have labeled the bill a “sanctuary state measure,” contending that it defies federal immigration law and obstructs the ability of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to enforce such a law.
According to De Leon, the legislation is necessary due to the election of President Trump and his campaign pledge to drastically reduce the number of illegal aliens living in the United States.
“If Jeb Bush or Chris Christie or John Kasich had been elected, this bill would not be necessary,” De Leon said. “These are extraordinary times.”
“Under constitutional threats from the reckless Trump administration, SB 54 protects state and local law enforcement and resources necessary to keep our communities safe,” De Leon said. “ICE is out to arrest and deport honest, hard-working parents who obey the laws and pay their taxes and owe allegiance to the red, white and blue. Arrests of undocumented immigrants with no previous criminal record are up 150 percent since Trump became president.”
Assemblywoman Eloise Gomez Reyes said that the legislation should be adopted nationwide.
“California must send a clear message that we will remain the last line of defense against the fear-mongering and xenophobia,” Reyes said. “Rather than addressing the failure of policy, the federal solution has been to demonize our immigrant communities.”
De Leon claims that the legislation protects the trust that police departments require to effectively investigate crimes by ensuring that witnesses and victims will not be arrested and deported due to their interaction with law enforcement.
California Senate Bill 54 prohibits communication of state and local police with federal authorities except in cases of a limited list of crimes for which an illegal alien must have been previously convicted.
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