California Legislature Passes Sanctuary State Bill. Here’s What It Means.
A bill limiting California’s cooperation with federal immigration authorities is headed to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk after passing the Legislature on a party-line vote early Saturday morning. Thanks to a number of key amendments which we discussed last week, the governor is expected to sign the bill into law.
Here are some things you should know about Senate Bill 54, officially known as the California Values Act:
• It prohibits law enforcement from inquiring about immigration status or assisting federal officials with routine immigration enforcement.
• But it still allows sheriff’s officials and jail personnel to work with federal immigration authorities when one of 800 specific crimes are involved.
• The final version of the bill split the law enforcement community, with the California Police Chiefs Association taking a neutral position and the California State Sheriffs’ Association remaining vehemently opposed. L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell took exception to that; he supported the final version after opposing its initial iteration.
• Experts are calling it the strongest set of protections for non-citizens anywhere in the United States.
Just hours before California lawmakers approved the bill, a U.S. District Court judge in Illinois blocked U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions from withholding grants from so-called “sanctuary cities.” Read more about the ruling here.