In direct contrast with President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, the California Senate recently passed two measures to limit state and local police cooperation with federal immigration authorities. Senate Bill 54 bars state and local law enforcement agencies from using their resources, including money, facility, property, equipment or personnel, to help with immigration enforcement. They would be prohibited from asking about immigration status, giving federal immigration authorities access to interview a person in custody or assisting them in immigration enforcement. SB 54 also bars law enforcement from detaining a person due to a hold request, responding to federal immigration enforcement’s requests for notification or providing information about a person’s release date unless that’s already available publicly. The bill passed the Senate in a 27-12 vote along party lines with Democrats in support and Republicans in opposition. SB 54 heads to the California State Assembly, where Democrats hold a super majority. If it passes there, the bill would go to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown. The bill contains some exceptions, allowing local agencies to transfer individuals to federal immigration authorities if there is a judicial warrant or if the person has been previously convicted of a violent felony. It also requires notification to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement of scheduled releases of people who have been convicted of violent felonies.
On Monday, the Senate also passed Senate Bill 6 in a 28-11 vote that creates a $12 million legal defense fund for immigrants who are facing deportation, except for those convicted of a violent felony. Opposition to both measures had been created with the shooting death of Kate Steinle in 2015 which sparked a national debate over so-called sanctuary cities and became a rallying cry for Trump on the campaign trail.
If you have any friends or family who need guidance with respect to deportation matters please contact North County Immigration at 760-233-0800.