California Inching Closer to Becoming America’s First ‘Sanctuary State’

California Inching Closer to Becoming America’s First ‘Sanctuary State’

California legislature passed a bill Monday that prevents law enforcement agencies from complying with federal immigration authorities’ requests when it comes to illegal immigrants. The measure which the state Senate passed on a 27-12 vote will turn the Golden State into a statewide sanctuary for every immigrant that enters the country illegally.

Severe and violent felons Will Still Face Deportation

The bill was sent to the state Assembly as there have been objections in the Senate that the bill would put Californians at risk as it grants felons immunity from deportation.

The bill passed after the Senate leaders altered it to enable state and local police to notify federal immigration agents before they release from custody convicted felons. Senators also removed a provision from the bill which required a two-thirds vote to pass the measure. If the bill passes by a simple majority, it cannot take effect immediately. Lawmakers said it would take effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

California lawmakers also stated that they would cooperate with the federal government when it comes to “dangerous and violent felons”. However, regulators pledged not to “lift a finger” or “spend a single cent” on other immigrants, including mothers that would be separated from their children.

That’s not who we are as a great state,

California Senate leader Kevin de Leon said.

Two months ago, President Trump signed an executive order threatening the so-called sanctuary cities with drastic federal cuts if they continue to defy federal immigration authorities.

Republican Sen. Jeff Stone said that with the new measure, California would hit Trump “right in the groin,” but they expect the White House to retaliate.

The National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) welcomed the measure. The groups believe the bill will equip California with some of the strongest anti-deportation protections in America.

California Legislature Beefs Up Immigrants’ Protections

Meanwhile, California lawmakers passed two other bills that hamper Trump’s attempts to curb illegal immigration. The Assembly is about to vote on a bill that would approve a $12 million fund to pay the lawyers of illegal immigrants risking deportation.

A second measure would prohibit state agencies from sharing data if the federal government ever tries to create a Muslim registry. According to official reports, around 2.3 million illegal immigrants currently live in California.

San Francisco, which has a sanctuary status, has sued Trump over his immigration policies. The state sanctuary bill aka SB54 would prevent law enforcement from arresting illegals for immigration law infringements unless a court issues a warrant.

The new law enables local police to easily hand over illegal immigrants to federal agencies if they had been deported because of a violent felony. Police departments and sheriffs would be barred from probing an immigration violation or asking immigrants about their immigration status.

Furthermore, SB54 would restrict immigration enforcement actions in courthouses, public schools, and other similar locations.

One of the new law’s critics, Sen. Ted Gaines, said that America would cease to exist as a nation if it failed to control its borders.

We cannot become a beacon of lawlessness,

Gaines said.
Image Source: Wikimedia

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