Published: Sun, September 17, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

CA Legislature Set to Vote on 'Sanctuary State' Proposal

CA Legislature Set to Vote on 'Sanctuary State' Proposal

More than three years ahead of the next presidential election, Donald Trump has likely already lost California and all of its 55 electoral votes as the State Assembly there has passed legislation that requires presidential candidates to release their tax returns.

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 state Assembly approved SB 54 on a 50-25 vote on Friday.

The head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says California's so-called "sanctuary state" bill that would limit police co-operation with federal immigration authorities prioritizes politics over public safety. Jerry Brown, is a scaled-back revision of an earlier proposal that would have cut off communication and resource-sharing with federal immigration authorities except in cases backed by a criminal warrant. 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 Senate leader Kevin de Leon said the bill will prevent local police from becoming "cogs in the Trump deportation machine". The measure was one of several introduced by Democratic lawmakers to benefit California's 2.3 million illegal immigrant residents.

California police chiefs dropped their opposition but sheriffs, who run jails where the biggest impacts will be felt, remain opposed.

Brown has backed the bill and is expected to sign it into law, despite the Trump Administration rejection of sanctuary cities and states. "It's going to protect the criminal at the expense of the law abiding citizen".

"If California politicians pass this bill, they will be prioritizing politics over the safety and security of their constituents", Homan said in a statement this week.

The exceptions created in the compromise earlier in the week were also not enough to win support from the California State Sheriffs' Association.

"We hope that it will serve as a model for other states and encourage them to adopt similar protections", said Jenny Pasquarella, immigrant rights director for the American Civil Liberties Union of California.

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