The California Legislature Saturday passed a "sanctuary state" bill to protect immigrants without legal residency in the USA, part of a broader push by Democrats to counter expanded deportation orders under the Trump administration.
The head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says California's so-called "sanctuary state" bill that would limit police cooperation with federal immigration authorities prioritizes politics over public safety.
Even after the negotiations, the bill is the most ambitious of its kind; in 1987 OR passed a law barring state and local officers from detaining anyone exclusively on immigration charges, and state lawmakers have proposed strengthening that law this year with amendments similar to the measures introduced in California.
But the law has backers too: San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who simply called it "a reasonable streamlining bill", and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff, who said in August, "We need to plan and prepare for accommodating diverse populations and more dense development in our existing footprint".
It also would allow local authorities to turn over immigrants to federal agents if detainees have been convicted of one or more of a list of 800 serious crimes, the newspaper reported. Under the bill, local and state officers can not ask about a person's immigration status or be deputized as immigration agents.
A number of closely watched proposals passed in the Legislature's final hours of work are now headed to Brown's desk, though it's unclear if he will sign them into law.
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"This bill here today helps some of us to believe that California is a safe place for immigrants, that we are a Golden State", said Democratic Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula, the grandson of immigrants who came to California illegally. For instance, immigrant inmates would now be allowed to earn credits to reduce their sentences if they complete educational or rehabilitative programming while incarcerated.
But the bill on its way to Gov.
The bill also prevents local and state law enforcement from detaining someone over an immigration hold request.
Although California lawmakers have enacted several environmental protections this year, a measure aimed at weaning the state's power grid entirely off fossil fuels by 2045 died for the year after lawmakers adjourned without voting on it.
"Our overarching concern remains that limiting local law enforcement's ability to communicate and cooperate with federal law enforcement officers endangers public safety", the group said in the release. OR passed a similar, though less protective, measure 30 years ago.