Lawmakers in the state of California passed a “sanctuary state” bill in the early hours of Saturday morning that would offer broad protections to undocumented immigrations in response to the Trump administration’s aggressive deportation policies. Senate Bill 54, officially called the “California Values Act,” limits the information sharing and communication between local officials and federal immigration authorities, as well as prohibits state law enforcement officers from questioning individuals on their immigration status and detaining them for immigration violations. The bill, which faced opposition from Republican sheriffs and the Trump Justice Department, passed by a party line 27-11 vote sending the measure to protect the some 2.3 million undocumented people living in the state to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.
From the Los Angeles Times:
The legislation by Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), the most far-reaching of its kind in the country… But the bill sent to Gov. Jerry Brown drastically scaled back the version first introduced, the result of tough negotiations between Brown and De León in the final weeks of the legislative session… After talks with Brown, amendments to the bill made this week would allow federal immigration authorities to keep working with state corrections officials and to continue entering county jails to question immigrants. The legislation would also permit police and sheriffs to share information and transfer people to immigration authorities if they have been convicted of one or more crimes from a list of 800 outlined in a previous law, the California Trust Act.
“Senate Bill 54 received national attention as the U.S. Department of Justice pledged to slash government grants for law enforcement from any so-called sanctuary cities, which limit the collaboration between local and federal authorities on immigration enforcement,” according to the Times. “At the request of the California Senate, former U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H Holder Jr. reviewed the bill and said it passed constitutional muster, adding that the states ‘have the power over the health and safety of their residents and allocation of state resources.’”