SACRAMENTO (CBS / AP) — Legislative Democrats in California have advanced a bill that would provide statewide sanctuary for immigrants by restricting local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration authorities.
The measure marks California Democrats’ first formal effort to resist President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.
Democratic lawmakers in Sacramento were on a fast track to advance legislation aimed at protecting immigrants at risk of deportation due to Trump’s policies.
“Immigration authorities will arguably be able to target every undocumented immigrant in California,” said State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson. “We want to make sure that people are here for all the right reasons are able to stay here.”
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The Senate Public Safety Committee approved SB54 in a 5-2 party-line vote on Tuesday – less than a week after Trump signed an order threatening to withdraw some federal grants from established sanctuary cities.
Senate Bill 54 would prevent local law enforcement statewide from using resources to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect, report or arrest persons for immigration enforcement purposes.
Democrats say the legislation is necessary to prevent fear of deportation in families with members living in California without authorization.
The California Sheriffs Association released a statement Tuesday opposing SB 54, saying it would limit the ability of law enforcement agencies to cooperate with federal authorities on immigration matters.
Cory Salzillo of the California State Sheriffs’ Association says law enforcement officers at all levels of government must work together to keep people safe.
The legislation now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
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