California Senate Votes Yes to Becoming a Sanctuary State

April 4, 2017 Updated: April 4, 2017

The California Senate passed a sanctuary bill on April 3 that limits cooperation between local law enforcement and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The bill was passed 27–12 along party lines that saw Democrat support and Republican opposition.

Senate bill (SB) 54 prevents local jails from holding inmates for up to 48 hours extra when ICE requests it for transfer—except those who have committed certain crimes, such as murder, robbery, rape, or kidnapping.

The bill also prohibits state and local law enforcement agencies from using resources—including facilities, equipment, and personnel—for immigration enforcement purposes without a court warrant.

It also prohibits local agencies from sharing important information and leasing jail space to immigration officials. Violators could be subject to civil action, said state Senate president and author of the bill, Kevin de León.

The bill will now head to the Assembly, where Democrats hold a large majority, then to Gov. Jerry Brown. If passed, it will become effective immediately.

County sheriffs have expressed criticism to the bill. Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said it would force immigration officers to operate more in communities, which is more dangerous than working directly with local law enforcement agencies.

Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens said the bill will result in more violent crime.

Nearly one quarter, or more than 2 million, of the country’s estimated illegal alien population live in California, according to the Public Policy Institute of California.

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