Lawmakers Vote To Make California A 'Sanctuary State'


			Colin McConnell  Toronto Star  Getty

Pinterest Colin McConnell Toronto Star Getty

Acting Director Thomas Homan says in a statement Saturday that the legislation "serves to codify a unsafe policy that deliberately obstructs our country's immigration laws".

The bill is meant to bolster immigrant protections in the state that are already among the toughest in the nation.

The bill is all part of a broader push by U.S. Democrats to counter President Trump's plan to expand deportation orders.

There are an estimated 2.3 million undocumented immigrants in California, and Republicans opposed to the measure say it will protect criminals.

The bill passed 50-26 and was headed back to the state Senate late Friday for final approval before going to Gov.

The California Values Act at first would have prohibited state and local law enforcement agencies from using any resources to hold, question or share information about people with federal immigration agents, unless they had violent or serious criminal convictions. "The only thing this bill provides a sanctuary for is risky criminals", said Assemblyman James Gallagher, a Republican from Nicolaus.

The measure that passed still allows jail and prison officials to notify the federal government if they have arrested an undocumented immigrant with a felony record, and allows federal immigration officers to interview people in custody.

But the bill's passage comes as a second blow to the Trump administration's hard-line policy on illegal immigration in as many days.

McGuire said the bill "helps to reestablish desperately needed transparency in the White House".

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.

The organization put out a release earlier this week, saying that "California's front-line law enforcement officers do not now engage in, and have no intention of engaging in, immigration enforcement in the field".

As lawmakers considered the bill Friday another high-profile killing in San Francisco spotlighted the sanctuary issue. "It sends a very clear message to the Trump administration that in California we value inclusivity, we value diversity", De Leon said.

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