Far-Reaching Immigrant Protections Bill Passes in California

Violet Powell
September 17, 2017

In a last minute vote early on Saturday, California's legislature voted to approve a bill that would limit police cooperation with federal immigration authorities, according to multiple reports.

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 also prevents local and state law enforcement from detaining someone over an immigration hold request.

"I know, from speaking to hundreds of victims of crimes, witnesses of crimes, that if you're a victim or a witness, it's hard to trust working with law enforcement if you think there's a chance that your immigration status might be passed along to the federal government", he said. The legislation would also permit police and sheriffs to share information and transfer people to immigration authorities if they have been convicted of one or more crimes from a list of 800 outlined in a previous law, the California Trust Act.

"This comes as a relief that there are some legislators that are really listening", said Pablo Alvarado, executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.

Senator Kevin De León (D-Los Angeles) said the amendments added to the bill this week were reasonable and would not change the overall mission of the bill to protect hard-working families.

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He claimed that there was no violation of rules by the MLAs, and they had not "betrayed the party, and not left the party". He also faulted the Chief Minister for convening the party General Council to remove her as interim general secretary.

California police chiefs dropped their opposition but sheriffs, who run jails where the biggest impacts will be felt, remain opposed. The final version of the bill was released Monday but California requires bills to be published in their final form for 72 hours before a vote. A San Francisco judge blocked the order.

This was the first year of the Legislature's two-year session.

A pair of bills seeking to ban smoking at California's parks and beaches are heading to Gov.

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.

A federal judge in Chicago ruled Friday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions can not follow through with his threat to withhold public safety grant money to so-called sanctuary cities for refusing his order to impose tough immigration policies.

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