California lawmakers approve 'sanctuary state' bill

California lawmakers approve 'sanctuary state' bill

The bill goes now to Democratic Governor Jerry Brown for his signature.

California legislators passed a bill early Saturday morning to protect the state's undocumented residents from federal immigration authorities.

Law360, Washington (September 14, 2017, 6:57 PM EDT) - Border security, cybersecurity and immigration enforcement would get a spending hike of more than $2 billion under a pair of bills approved by the House of Representatives on Thursday.

Earlier, the bill also would have prevented local and state law enforcement from relaying information to federal immigration officers unless it was about a person convicted of a violent or serious crime.

But they will be prohibited from from transferring immigrants to federal authorities if they have committed only minor offenses.

Democrats argued the bill would heighten public safety by building trust between undocumented immigrants and police, encouraging crime victims to come forward.

Kevin De León, D-Los Angeles, said his legislation doesn't detract from the ultimate goal of local law enforcement in the state: keeping Californians safe.

The bill prohibits law-enforcement from conducting front-line immigration enforcement but allows jail officials to notify federal agents about some people in detention. The bill-which Wiener introduced the skeleton of mere hours after his Sacramento swearing-in last year-would essentially force California cities to approve a certain amount of new housing each year, one way or another.

IL recently passed even more protective legislation that bars law enforcement from detaining immigrants exclusively for deportation, said Shiu Ming Cheer, senior staff attorney at the National Immigration Law Center. Assemblyman James Gallagher, R-Yuba City, said the bill would create "only a sanctuary for criminals".

Immigrant rights groups held a noisy rally in the Capitol last week urging Brown and de Leon not to back off from the strict immigrant protections de Leon originally proposed in the wake of Donald Trump's election as president. The attorney general also has broad authority under the state constitution to ensure that police and sheriffs agencies follow the bill's provisions should it be signed into law.

"We hope that it will serve as a model for other states and encourage them to adopt similar protections", said Jenny Pasquarella, immigrant rights director for the American Civil Liberties Union of California.

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