California becomes "Sanctuary State" defying Trump's immigration policy

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-06 12:00:39|Editor: Xiang Bo
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LOS ANGELES, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- California Governor Jerry Brown signed the "Sanctuary State" bill into law on Thursday, showing a will to resist the White House's immigration policy.

SB (Senate Bill) 54, called by media as the "Sanctuary State" bill, was introduced by Democratic Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon on Dec. 5 last year, weeks after the 2016 presidential election, to defy Donald Trump's campaign pledge to tighten immigration policy.

"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 bill read.

This means Californian law enforcement can not inquire an individual's immigration status, arrest people on civil immigration warrants, or participate in border patrol activities or joint task forces with the federal government if the primary purpose is immigration enforcement.

Meanwhile, the state law enforcement can only detain someone in a request from the federal government, notifying the latter to release or transfer someone to federal custody, after there's a felony warrant or the person has been convicted of one of the over 800 crimes listed on the bill.

The local Sacramento Bee newspaper reported that Brown had made some amendments before signing the bill, such as increasing crimes on the list from the initial 65 to over 800, including felony DUI(Driving Under the Influence), child abuse, gang-related offenses and some misdemeanors.

"These are uncertain times for undocumented citizens and their families, and this bill strikes a balance that will protect public safety, while bringing a measure of comfort to those families who are now living in fear every day," Brown said.

De Leon hailed Brown's move, saying the bill accomplished his initial objective to prevent California resources and police from being "commandeered" for Trump's policies.

"California's local law enforcement cannot be commandeered and used by the Trump Administration to tear families apart, undermine our safety, and wreak havoc on our economy," de Leon said at a news conference in Los Angeles, which was posted on his official twitter page.

De Leon posted six tweets Thursday after the bill was signed, saying that the "signing of SB 54 comes at critical time in US history. With Donald Trump, we have witnessed a racial divide we have not seen in decades," and "California Values Act SB 54 will now be law of the land -- building a wall of justice against Trump's racist and ignorant immigration policies."

The California Police Chiefs Association takes a neutral stand regarding the bill, the Sacramento Bee reported, adding that the sheriffs' organization remains against it and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions had publicly urged Brown to veto it.