California 'Sanctuary State' Bill Approved on Legislature's Last Day


California is poised to become a so-called "sanctuary state" after its legislature passed a bill Saturday that would establish new protections for people who are in the country illegally and send a clear signal of defiance against the Trump administration's tough approach to immigration enforcement.

Also passed on Thursday was SB 3, which will put a $4 billion affordable housing bond on the ballot next year, and SB 2, which adds a $75 fee on real estate transaction documents not related to house sales and which garnered the closest vote in the assembly.

California's state Senate voted 27-11 to approve Senate Bill 54, unofficially known as the "sanctuary state" bill, which limits state and local authorities from working with federal agencies to enforce immigration law.

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Under the law, state and local law enforcement officers will not be permitted to ask about a person's immigration status during an arrest or police stop, and their communication with federal immigration authorities will be limited.

Democrats argued the bill would heighten public safety by building trust between undocumented immigrants and police, encouraging crime victims to come forward.

Donald Trump promised during his presidential campaign to crack down on undocumented immigrants and to launch an extensive deportation program. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has threatened to withhold certain federal grants from jurisdictions that refuse to honor immigration detention requests or give ICE agents access to local jails. Jerry Brown worked with lawmakers to scale back parts of the legislation, which would have previously forbade federal immigration officers from questioning inmates in county jails.

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Kevin De León, D-Los Angeles, said his legislation doesn't detract from the ultimate goal of local law enforcement in the state: keeping Californians safe. The California Police Chiefs Association is now neutral on the bill, but the California State Sheriffs' Association still opposes it.

IL recently passed even more protective legislation that bars law enforcement from detaining immigrants exclusively for deportation, said Shiu Ming Cheer, senior staff attorney at the National Immigration Law Center.

California's Democratic political leaders have positioned the nation's largest state as a foil to Trump and his administration.

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