California legislature considers so-called 'sanctuary state' bil - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

California legislature considers so-called 'sanctuary state' bill

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A proposal known as the "sanctuary state" bill is headed to the California Assembly this month.  

The bill would prohibit state and local law enforcement from turning over some undocumented immigrants to the federal government.  

Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham and San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson are both against the bill, saying it could only make matters worse. 

"This bill would protect criminals from deportation at the expense of law-abiding residents, and people in our community deserve to have their public safety put first," Cunningham said.
Senate Bill 54 would affect the ability of sheriffs across the state to notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of many of the undocumented immigrants in their custody and their release dates.

Supporters argue the bill will protect vulnerable communities. 

"They are in fear and have anxieties of being deported and not wanting to report crimes or any violations to the police because of that same anxiety to feel that police are collaborating with ICE," said Joana Barrera of C.A.U.S.E., a group that advocates for immigrant rights.

Law enforcement would only be able to give ICE info that is already public. 

"It would produce a great amount of relief for families that they are protected by the state," Barrera said.

"If you prohibit ICE from communicating with local sheriffs and from picking up felons to be deported, then you are possibly indirectly pushing ICE into other places like our restaurants and fields and everywhere else," Cunningham said.

Sheriff Ian Parkinson also opposes the bill and says it could force the federal government to find other means of locating people if they can no longer go to the jails.

"Like other Sheriff's in California, I am opposed to SB54 for the simple reason it will still allow violent criminals like domestic violence offenders and child traffickers to be released into the community," Parkinson said in a statement to KSBY. "In addition, if ICE is unable to pick up criminal offenders from jail, it will force ICE agents to go into neighborhoods and businesses to locate and detain them. The Sheriff's Office is already governed by the Trust Act and the Truth Act, as well as federal case law. This bill will effectively stymie our ability to communicate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement as well as jeopardize grants the Sheriff's Office receives from the federal government."

This proposal would not apply to inmates who have previously been deported for a violent felony or who are serving time and have a prior felony conviction. Authorities could still give the information about those people to the government.

Senate Bill 54 is a majority vote bill, needing at least 41 of 80 votes to pass.

Next steps:

  • September 1 - Assembly Appropriations Committee Hearing to dispense with Assembly Appropriations Suspense File
  • September 5-15 - Assembly Floor Vote and Senate Concurrence Vote
  • September 15-October 15 - Legislation under Governor's Consideration for signature or veto. The deadline for the Governor to take action is October 15th.

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