SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — State and local leaders at the Capitol introduced a string of bills on Tuesday aimed at protecting immigrants’ rights.
This comes on the heels of President Donald Trump’s promise to deport millions of undocumented immigrants and possibly create a national registry of Muslims.
“Everything was just so, so fast.”
Victor Alvarez remembers the last time he saw his father before he was deported.
“They called me at 1 a.m. saying ICE had picked him up and I asked where are they taking him, they said they didn’t know,” Alvarez said.
Victor’s father, Jose, was on his way to pick him up from work last February when a Cal State Long Beach police officer pulled his father over for a broken tail-light. Police handed Victor’s father over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. He was deported to Tijuana, Mexico.
“After that our whole world started crumbling,” added Alvarez.
Victor dropped out of college to support his mom and his siblings. The last year has been a struggle.
“We try to see him every month, but with work and paying bills, it’s so hard,” he said.
State lawmakers stood by immigrants on Tuesday, reassuring their protection, making a promise to defy the President’s immigration orders.
“We need to build trust between our immigrants and law enforcement, not antagonize and drive wedges,” said Senator Scott Wiener.
Lawmakers introduced Senate Bill 54, which would make it illegal for state and local police to investigate, detain or arrest people like Victor’s father for immigration enforcement purposes.
The fight is just beginning for undocumented Californians like Sandy Valenciano, who already has an emergency plan laid out.
“We are being precautions as much as possible but anything can happen at this point,” said Valenciano.
Victor and his family are now calling on the federal government to grant his father humanitarian parole. SB54 will head to the Senate floor next week and will go into effect immediately if it’s passed.
Lawmakers also considered two more bills Tuesday afternoon — one would provide legal aid for immigrants to protect them from deportation; the other would forbid local and state agencies from handing the federal government personal information to identify someone’s religious beliefs.