California Is Officially a Sanctuary State

Violet Powell
October 8, 2017

California's governor has signed a package of bills into law that make it the first sanctuary state in the United States, part of a pushback against President Donald Trump's hard-line stance on immigration.

The California Values Act passed last month in the state Legislature and was signed by the governor among a package of 11 bills.

"This bill would, among other things and subject to exceptions, prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies, including school police and security departments, from using money or personnel to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect, or arrest persons for immigration enforcement purposes", the legislation said.

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Brown also signed 10 other immigration bills on Thursday, meant to "enhance housing, school, workplace and civil protections for California's immigrants".

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- Trying to cut questions that would identify LGBTQ people in various data collection efforts. It can be used for an organization refusing to offer birth control to their employees.

After Mr Trump ascended to office promising to build a wall between American and Mexico, California moved to build a wall between law enforcement and Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE].

It prohibits jails from complying with federal requests to hold onto immigrants past their release dates - a mechanism that has been ruled unconstitutional - and says they can not notify federal authorities about planned release dates unless the suspect in question has committed a serious or violent crime.

"California should not be siding with companies that profit from the detention of asylum seekers and the misery of divided families", Lara said in a statement Thursday.

"This action protects public safety and ensures hard-working people who contribute to our state are respected", Brown said in a statement. In 1996, California became the first U.S. state to legalize medical marijuana. The law prohibits state and local agencies from enforcing immigration laws or from working with immigration enforcement agencies.

The bill "will put a large kink in Trump's perverse and inhumane deportation machine", Democratic Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon said at a press conference in Los Angeles celebrating the signing. "Today California took a major step toward treating HIV as a public health issue, instead of treating people living with HIV as criminals". The state is already home to an estimated 2.3 million illegal immigrants. The measure, known as "Calexit", gained support from one-third of residents in the Golden State, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll in January.

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