Published: Sun, September 17, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

California Sanctuary State bill approved by State Assembly

California Sanctuary State bill approved by State Assembly

Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign the California Values Act, passed by lawmakers Saturday, which would make the state a "sanctuary state" with new protections for undocumented immigrants.

Also passed on Thursday was SB 3, which will put a $4 billion affordable housing bond on the ballot next year, and SB 2, which adds a $75 fee on real estate transaction documents not related to house sales and which garnered the closest vote in the assembly.

Provisions in the bill, however, will allow local and state enforcement officials to share information with federal immigration authorities if a person has been convicted of one or more of 800 crimes. It would prohibit local officers from inquiring about someone's immigration status and would prevent police from being deputized as immigration agents.

However, following Monday's changes, it would preserve the ability of law officers to cooperate on federal task forces as long as the task force doesn't specifically work on immigration enforcement. But they'll be barred from transferring immigrants to federal authorities if their rap sheet includes only minor offenses. Many, they said, have been afraid to go to school or to take their sick children to the hospital since President Donald Trump - who promised widespread deportations as part of a crackdown on illegal immigration - has been president. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has threatened to withhold certain federal grants from jurisdictions that refuse to honor immigration detention requests or give ICE agents access to local jails.

California's immigration laws are considered among the friendliest in the country and the state is often referred to as a "sanctuary state".

"Now, more than ever, it is imperative that California law clearly distinguish state and local law enforcement officers from federal deportation agents", said Pasquarella.

California police chiefs dropped their opposition but sheriffs, who run jails where the biggest impacts will be felt, remain opposed. The Republican-controlled body is seeking to bolster federal criminal and immigration law enforcement. Assemblyman James Gallagher, R-Yuba City, said the bill would create "only a sanctuary for criminals".

But immigrant rights groups did not withdraw their support for the bill and also won some concessions.

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