SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Handcuffing law enforcement instead of criminals is how Republican lawmakers are describing plans to declare California a sanctuary state.
The aim is to prohibit local law enforcement from helping federal agencies with deportation, but Sacramento County Sheriff has vowed to reject Senate Bill 54 in the name of public safety.
“If SB54 passes, it will allow dangerous, violent criminals to slip through the cracks and be released back into communities,” he said.
State Senate President Kevin De Leon, who introduced the bill, compares Jones to former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a man famous for his hardcore immigration enforcement who lost his re-election bid last November.
Jones says his mission isn’t to crack down on illegal immigrants, it’s to protect immigration agents’ entry to jail.
“In the jail, we want to continue to allow [Immigrations and Customs Enforcement] to carry out their mission, even if that means going against state law,” he said.
He claims the bill will cost counties millions of dollars in federal funding since it prevents law enforcement from leasing jail space to federal immigration agents.
But De Leon says it’s about something more.
“It’s not about fear mongering, not about dividing communities,” he said. “It’s about making them safer.
SB54 is fast-tracking through committee to the senate.