California’s “sanctuary state” bill, which would prevent the state from assisting U.S. immigrations and customs enforcement (ICE) agents from enforcing federal immigration law, is facing some surprising criticism from — of all people — the Golden’s State’s Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown.
In spite of the fact that the bill passed in the state Senate last month, Brown told NBC News’ Meet the Press last weekend: “The goal here is to block and not to collaborate with abuse of federal power. It is a balancing act. It does require some sensitivity. And that’s why I take a more nuanced and careful approach to dealing with what is a difficult problem.” He added: “Because you do have people who are not here legally, they’ve committed crimes. They have no business in the United States in the manner in which they’ve come and conducted themselves subsequently.”
“Sanctuary state” bill SB 54, also known as the “California Values Act,” introduced by Senate Leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), has reportedly been amended to create exceptions for serious and violent crimes. However, the San Jose Mercury News notes that the bill’s opponents say the bill still does not cover enough offenses. The Mercury News writes, “They argue that California already places restrictions on such collaboration, and that the new bill would make it even harder for the feds to apprehend suspects before they are released from a county jail.”
Last week, as Breitbart News noted, Gov. Brown told Meet the Press that SB 54, did not, in fact, declare California to be a “sanctuary state.”
If Brown acts against the sanctuary state bill, this would not be his first time doing so. In 2012, Brown vetoed Assembly Bill 1081, which is similar in substance to SB 54, writing, “I am unable to sign this bill as written. I believe it’s unwise to interfere with a sheriff’s discretion to comply with a detainer issued for people with these kinds of troubling criminal records.”
The Mercury News noted that during a recent teleconference, Santa Barbara County Sheriff and president of the state association Bill Brown said the signing of SB 54 “is not a fait accompli.” His group is opposed to the bill. “There are many members of the Assembly who are not comfortable with this legislation,” Brown added.
SB 54 is reportedly also opposed by sheriffs’ unions, the California Police Chiefs Association, and the California Assembly Judiciary Committee.
Last month, De León claimed, “If Jeb Bush or Chris Christie or John Kasich had been elected, this bill would not be necessary.” He reportedly added, “These are extraordinary times.” In January, De León said, “California will not become a cog in the Trump deportation machine.”
SB 54 is just one of several bills that Democrats and progressives have proposed in response to fears about deportations.
Assembly Bill 222, by Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D-San Fernando), seeks to amend 1994’s Proposition 187 so that it would no longer be a felony to manufacture or distribute false documents to help someone conceal their immigration status. Assembly Bill 291, by Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco), reportedly “prevents landlords from harassing tenants over their immigration status or using it against them.” Assembly Bill 450, also by Assemblyman Chiu, would provide illegal aliens additional workplace protections. And Assembly Bill 699, by Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach), would require schools to protect schoolchildren who are in the Golden State illegally by requiring, among other things, a “judicial warrant” from immigration officers.