California Democrats are pushing to keep local law enforcement from enforcing the Trump administration’s federal immigration policies, which would make the entire west coast state a sanctuary for illegal immigrants. The bill proposed by the Democratic Senate President, Kevin de Leon, is scheduled to have its first public hearing on Tuesday. He refers to it as the “California Values Act.”
“We must enact proper policies so that police and local agencies can focus on their chief responsibility – protecting Californians,” de Leon tweeted on Tuesday, along with an animated image explaining the California Values Act or “SB54.” The image reads that the act “will ensure no state or local resources will be used to investigate, detect or detain, or report or arrest people for immigration enforcement purposes.
“We will not stand by and let the federal government use our state and local agencies to separate mothers from their children,” de León said when he first introduced the bill in December.
The legislation would also ban immigration authorities from enforcing laws in schools, heath care facilities, and courthouses.
California could risk billions in federal funding if they move forward with such actions following an executive order signed by President Trump which pledges to withhold money from states that do not comply with the federal immigration laws. In the order, the Secretary of Homeland Security is required to designate those who decline to share immigration status information with the feds as “sanctuary jurisdictions.”
Many of California’s biggest cities are already considered “sanctuary cities” that don’t enforce federal immigration policies. De Leon’s office estimated that about a tenth of the state’s employed workers are undocumented.
Governor Jerry Brown told lawmakers last week that immigrants are an “integral part” of who they are.