A bill that would extend “sanctuary city” protections for immigrants across California is continuing to move through the state Legislature, after passing the Senate months ago.
The measure, dubbed as the 'sanctuary state bill,' generally blocks local law enforcement agencies from helping federal agents find, detain or deport immigrants in the country illegally.
Democratic Senate leader Kevin de León introduced Senate Bill 54 after the election of President Trump, who campaigned on a promise to deport people in the country illegally. De León spoke before the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
"Quite frankly, had any other Republican candidate won the presidency, whether it be Jeb Bush, or Chris Christie, whether it be John Kasich or someone else, probabilities are very high that 54 would not be needed," he said.
The discussion has primarily centered on public safety. Supporters argue immigrant communities will be more likely to speak up about crimes if they know police aren’t assisting with deportations. State sheriff association chief Bill Brown spoke in opposition.
"It is in the interest of all of our communities and especially the immigrant community that dangerous offenders who are in this country illegally be deported, so they cannot continue to prey on the innocent victims," said Brown.
The bill passed the committee and moves to one more committee before the full Assembly can vote on it.