SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – California lawmakers have reached an agreement on a so-called “Sanctuary State” bill, further dividing California’s immigration policy from President Trump’s.
Immigration advocates are calling it a win.
“We really want to make sure we can separate how immigration enforcement happens and how public safety happens,” California Immigrant Policy Center’s Ron Coleman said.
Following the president’s executive order increasing enforcement, the new California agreement draws a bright line between the work of federal immigration agents and local law enforcement officers.
The new agreement would prevent California officers from inquiring about an individual’s immigration status. It would also prevent programs deputizing police as immigration agents and would create safe zones to limit immigration enforcement around schools, hospitals, and courthouses.
The policy follows a contentious immigration forum in Sacramento back in January hosted by Sheriff Scott Jones. There, he sat side-by-side with the ICE director.
“We do not not do immigration checkpoints,” Jones said. The sheriff was cut-off by some members of the crowd fired up by his support of ice.
Jones and the California sheriff’s association that opposed the sanctuary state bill did receive some concessions in the new plan. Local sheriffs can transfer undocumented immigrants to ICE if they’ve been convicted of specific violent crimes.
The agreement exempts prisoners in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. And the bill allows federal agents to interview undocumented inmates.
“So there is a broader swath of people that could be subject to an immigration hold,” UC Davis immigration law professor Holly Cooper said.
The bill heads to the Assembly floor for a vote Thursday. It then goes to the Senate and the governor’s desk for his signature.