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Law Enforcement Divided Over Sanctuary State Bill

LM Otero / AP

LM Otero / AP

Supporters of a bill to make California a "sanctuary state" say the measure has gained the support of some law enforcement leaders.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck spoke at a press conference Monday in favor of limiting local law enforcement's coordination with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

He says his concerns with the bill have been addressed.

"We could still concentrate on people who are violent criminals who also happen to be illegal immigrants," Beck says.

The current bill would allow state prisons to notify ICE before they are about to release a violent felon, in case agents want to detain them.

But Los Angeles Sheriff Jim McDonnell says jails wouldn't be able to do the same.

He says if he couldn't safely transfer violent criminals to ICE agents, they would be released back into the community.

"I feel like we have an obligation to try and use whatever tool available to us to protect our community and ICE would be one of those tools," McDonnell says.

The California Police Chiefs Association also opposes the bill, which has passed the state Senate and is now in the Assembly.

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