California legislature passes bill to become sanctuary state

California lawmakers wrapped up their work for the year early Saturday morning, with sweeping new legislation to address issues from illegal immigration to the state's housing crunch - and hundreds of bills being debated and decided in just the final 48 hours. But, the state attorney general's office would be required to draft recommendations to limit immigration officials' ability to access personal information, and the office also would be tasked with ensuring that SB54 is enforced. However, in a concession to Governor Brown, Democrats agreed the state prison system would be exempted from most of the requirements.

"This comes as a relief that there are some legislators that are really listening", Pablo Alvarado, executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, told CBS. It would prohibit local officers from inquiring about someone's immigration status and would prevent police from being deputized as immigration agents.

"These amendments do not mean to erode the core mission of this measure, which is to protect hardworking families that have contributed greatly to our culture and the economy", he said.

The original proposal by Democratic state senator Kevin De Leon would have also prohibited state and local police from reporting undocumented immigrants to federal authorities unless they had committed violent or serious crimes. For them, the bill delivers a rare victory during Trump's presidency, preserving some protections for people in the country illegally and adding others.

The compromise moved the California Police Chiefs Association's position on the bill opposed to neutral.

"In my view this bill's going to make us less safe", said Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham, R-Templeton.

Among the passages cleared: San Francisco Sen.

Proponents of the California Values Act cited residents' fear of law enforcement amid the looming threat of deportation as a vital reason to pass the bill. Immigration and Customs Enforcement disclosed that two weeks ago, before 18-year-old Erick Garcia-Pineda was a murder suspect, the San Francisco Sheriff's Department denied a request to hold him until federal authorities could take him into custody for deportation proceedings.

Although California lawmakers have enacted several environmental protections this year, a measure aimed at weaning the state's power grid entirely off fossil fuels by 2045 died for the year after lawmakers adjourned without voting on it.

  • Jon Douglas