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“Civilised” California versus the “barbaric” Trump regime…

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Author Topic: “Civilised” California versus the “barbaric” Trump regime…  (Read 312 times)
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Having fun in the hills!

« Reply #25 on: October 07, 2017, 03:25:15 pm »

from The Washington Post....

In message of defiance to Trump, lawmakers
vote to make California a sanctuary state

The legislation would prohibit local law enforcement agencies from co-operating with
federal immigration officials. It also forbids law enforcement from inquiring about a
person's immigration status. The bill now goes to California Governor Jerry Brown,
who is expected to sign it into law.

By KRISTINE PHILLIPS | 6:25PM EDT - Saturday, September 16, 2017

Protesters hold signs as they listen to speakers at a rally outside City Hall in San Francisco in January. — Photograph: Jeff Chiu/Associated Press.
Protesters hold signs as they listen to speakers at a rally outside City Hall in San Francisco in January. — Photograph: Jeff Chiu/Associated Press.

IN what appeared to be an act of defiance against President Trump and to the dismay of many in law enforcement, California lawmakers took a significant step toward making the state a so-called “sanctuary state”.

The California Senate on Saturday passed Senate Bill 54, controversial legislation that would protect undocumented immigrants from possible deportation by prohibiting local law enforcement agencies, including school police and security departments, from co-operating with federal immigration officials. It also forbids law enforcement from inquiring about a person's immigration status.

The California Values Act provides an expansive protection to the state's undocumented population, estimated to be about 2.7 million, at a time when the Trump administration continues to aggressively crackdown on those who are in the country illegally and on so-called sanctuary cities — communities that limit local law enforcement's co-operation with immigration agents.

The strictly party-line vote sends the bill to California Governor Jerry Brown (Democrat), who is expected to sign it in to law.

Kevin de León (Democrat-Los Angeles), president pro tempore of the state Senate and California's most powerful Latino politician, introduced the bill in December. It sailed through the state Senate and Assembly without Republican support.

“Once signed into law and enacted, SB-54 will prevent state and local law enforcement officers and resources from being commandeered by President Trump to enforce federal laws,” de León said in a statement Saturday, adding later: “Our undocumented neighbors will be able to interact with local law enforcement to report crimes and help in prosecutions without fear of deportation — and that will make our communities safer.”

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (Democrat-San Diego) said California’s “families, schools, workplaces and communities” will be safer.

Those in law enforcement, however, disagreed.

The California State Sheriff's Association, which has vocally opposed the bill, said that limiting public safety agencies' ability to cooperate with immigration agents places communities at risk.

“We are disappointed that the Legislature chose political symbolism over public safety in approving SB-54,” the association said in a statement.

Brown and de León reached a compromise this week that allows law enforcement to have some flexibility. For example, the bill gives officers discretion to cooperate with immigration agents if a person has been convicted of a serious or violent felony and any felony punishable by imprisonment in a state facility.

Officials can report a person who has been convicted in the past 15 years of crimes such as unlawful possession or use of a weapon, driving under the influence, or drug- and gang-related offenses, as long as those offenses were felonies.

The revision also requires the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to give inmates credits toward reducing their sentences, regardless of their immigration status, if they complete educational and rehabilitative programs.

The compromise was accepted by immigration advocates but did not persuade law enforcement organizations to support the bill. In a statement after the deal was reached on Monday, the California State Sheriff's Association said that despite the changes, “the bill still goes too far in cutting off communications with the federal government.”

“Our overarching concern remains that limiting local law enforcement's ability to communicate and cooperate with federal law enforcement officers endangers public safety,” the association said.

Senate Republican Leader Pat Bates (Laguna Niguel) said in a statement that the latest amendments “may have removed some obstacles.”

But the bill, she added, “would still impose unnecessary restrictions. These restrictions will make it more difficult to stop dangerous criminals from being released into our communities.”

California is not the first state to pass a sanctuary law. The Oregon legislature passed a similar bill in 1987.

The vote came just a day after a legal blow to the Trump administration's crackdown on sanctuary cities. A federal judge on Friday blocked the Justice Department from withholding grant funds from Chicago and other cities that refuse to co-operate with immigration authorities.

Last August, a federal judge in Texas temporarily blocked parts of a state law that was supposed to outlaw sanctuary cities and penalize local officials for not cooperating with federal deportation efforts.

Brewing in the White House and on Capitol Hill is a debate on what to do with the hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children, after Trump announced that his administration is ending an Obama-era program granting legal status to “dreamers”. Departing from a campaign promise to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, Trump said that he favors some protections for dreamers, whom he called “good, educated and accomplished young people.”

Matt Zapotosky and Maria Sacchetti contributed to this report.

• Kristine Phillips is a general assignment reporter for The Washington Post.


Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: How santurary cities are responding to Trump's threat to defund them

 • VIDEO: Federal judge sides with sanctuary cities in dispute with Trump administration

 • Judge rules Justice Department can't keep grant money from unco-operative sanctuary cities

 • Trump's die-hard supporters are fuming after an apparent about-face on ‘dreamers’

 • Trump and Democrats strike DACA deal. Yes? No? Sort of? Trump's world can be confusing.

 • Federal judge blocks Texas' harsh anti-sanctuary law

 • Chicago sues Justice Department over new police grant rules targeting sanctuary cities

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« Reply #26 on: October 07, 2017, 03:30:41 pm »

from the Los Angeles Times....

California becomes ‘sanctuary state’ in rebuke of Trump immigration policy

By JAZMINE ULLOA | 1:45PM PDT - Thursday, October 05, 2017

Governor Jerry Brown signed landmark “sanctuary state” legislation on Thursday. — Photograph: Eric Risberg/Associated Press.
Governor Jerry Brown signed landmark “sanctuary state” legislation on Thursday. — Photograph: Eric Risberg/Associated Press.

UNDER THREAT of possible retaliation by the Trump administration, Governor Jerry Brown signed landmark “sanctuary state” legislation on Thursday, vastly limiting who state and local law enforcement agencies can hold, question and transfer at the request of federal immigration authorities.

Senate Bill 54, which takes effect in January, has been blasted as “unconscionable” by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, becoming the focus of a national debate over how far states and cities can go to prevent their officers from enforcing federal immigration laws. Supporters have hailed it as part of a broader effort by majority Democrats in the California Legislature to shield more than 2.3 million immigrants living illegally in the state.

Brown took the unusual step of writing a signing message in support of SB54. He called the legislation a balanced measure that would allow police and sheriff's agencies to continue targeting dangerous criminals, while protecting hardworking families without legal residency in the country.

“In enshrining these new protections, it is important to note what the bill does not do,” Brown wrote. “This bill does not prevent or prohibit Immigration and Customs Enforcement or the Department of Homeland Security from doing their own work in any way.”

Legal experts have said federal officials may try to block the law in court to keep it from being implemented. Some doubt such challenges would be successful, pointing to the 10th Amendment and previous rulings in which courts have found the federal government can't compel local authorities to enforce federal laws.

On Thursday, Department of Justice spokesman Devin O'Malley declined to comment on the agency's next move. Asked whether the administration would attempt to block the state law, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that federal officials “are spending every day we can trying to find the best way forward.”

“The president will be laying out his responsible immigration plan over the next week,” she said. “And I hope that California will push back on their governor's, I think, irresponsible decision moving forward.”

Trump's immigration chief blasted the sanctuary state law on Friday, saying it would keep federal officers from performing their jobs and result in more arrests.

In a statement, Thomas Homan, acting director of U.S. Immigration and Enforcement, said his agency “would have no choice but to conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at worksites.”

Brown's decision comes as local and state governments are locked in legal battles with Sessions over his move to slash federal grant funding from “sanctuary jurisdictions,” where city and county agencies are limited when working with federal immigration officials. A Chicago federal judge largely blocked Sessions' effort just hours before SB54 cleared the Legislature on September 16th.

Other federal officials also have sounded off against SB54, suggesting illegal immigration is tied to increases in violent crime.

Throughout his campaign and in his tenure as president, Trump has tried to make the same connection, showcasing the relatives of people killed by immigrants in the country illegally. One of his earliest executive orders put cities and counties on alert that they would lose federal funding if law enforcement did not co-operate with immigration agents.

The move has struck a bitter chord in California, home to at least 35 cities that have embraced the “sanctuary” label, and where Brown and Democratic lawmakers have passed legislation to extend financial aid, healthcare and driver's licenses to thousands of immigrants here illegally. Other bills signed by Brown on Thursday would prevent some cities and counties from adding beds to immigrant detention centers, and would extend protections for immigrant workers and tenants.

In some places, the “sanctuary city” name is largely a symbolic message of political support for immigrants without legal residency. But other cities, most notably San Francisco and most recently Los Angeles, have cut ties with federal immigration officials and sought to build up social services for families, including city-funded legal aid.

The bill's author, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (Democrat-Los Angeles), has countered that the state law is defensible in court and will send a strong message against new federal policies that he argues have pushed some families further into the shadows. Research has shown sanctuary cities have lower crime rates and that immigrants generally commit fewer crimes than U.S. citizens.

De León joined Assemblyman Miguel Santiago (Democrat-Los Angeles) and immigrant rights advocates at a news conference in Los Angeles on Thursday, saying the new law would put a kink in Trump's “perverse and inhumane deportation machine.”

“California is building a wall of justice against President Trump's xenophobic, racist and ignorant immigration policies,” he said to chants of “Sí se pudo,” or “Yes, we could” from the crowd.

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (Democrat-Paramount), center, and Democratic lawmakers discuss proposed measures to protect immigrants during a December 2016 news conference in Sacramento. — Photograph: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press.
Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (Democrat-Paramount), center, and Democratic lawmakers discuss proposed measures to protect
immigrants during a December 2016 news conference in Sacramento. — Photograph: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press.

The final language of the new law was the result of months of tough negotiations between Brown, De León and law enforcement officials. It was the centerpiece of this year's legislative proposals in Sacramento that sought to challenge Trump's stance on illegal immigration and provide protections for families amid his threats of mass deportations.

The new law will largely prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies from using either personnel or funds to hold, question or share information about people with federal immigration agents unless those individuals have been convicted of one or more offenses from a list of 800 crimes outlined in a 2013 state law.

Federal immigration authorities will still be able to work with state corrections officials — a key concession Brown had demanded — and will be able to enter county jails to question immigrants. But the state attorney general's office will be required to publish guidelines and training recommendations to limit immigration agents' access to personal information. And all law enforcement agencies will have to produce annual reports on their participation in task forces that involve federal agencies, as well as on the people they transfer to immigration authorities.

The new law doesn't specify what happens if local law enforcement agencies don't comply with the new rules. But the attorney general has broad authority under the state Constitution to prosecute police and sheriff's agencies that don't comply.

In a statement released on Thursday, Becerra applauded the enactment of the SB54, saying he stood “ready to fully defend the law.”

For many officers across the state, the expanded restrictions won't change much. Some police and sheriff's agencies already have developed similar boundaries against working with immigration agents, either through their own policies or under local “sanctuary city” rules.

For other officers, though, the legislation would set new guidelines and has long divided police chiefs and sheriffs. The California Police Chiefs Association moved its official position from opposed to neutral after final changes to the bill last month, but the California Sheriffs Association remained opposed.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck supported the bill, joining others who said entangling police and federal immigration forces can have a negative effect on public safety, because crime victims and witnesses without legal status may refuse to come forward to authorities out of fear of deportation. L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell was a vocal opponent. Even so, he said the final version of the bill, though not perfect, “reflects much of what the LASD implemented years ago and the work is well underway.”

Immigrant rights advocates said its passage would help keep thousands of families together. Angela Chan, policy director at the Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus, said it will “improve protections for immigrants in most counties in California.”

“This victory is the result of community organizing and directly impacted immigrants sharing their stories about being turned over to ICE at the hands of local law enforcement,” she said. “And we look forward to working to pass stronger protections for immigrants throughout California in the years to come.”

Los Angeles Times staff writers Christine Mai-Duc and Noah Bierman contributed to this report.

• Jazmine Ulloa covers California state politics and policy for the Los Angeles Times and is based in Sacramento. A native of El Paso, she covered state and federal courts for the Austin American-Statesman in the Texas capital. Her work has appeared in Texas Monthly, the Texas Observer and The Boston Globe. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.


Related to this topic:

 • Read Governor Brown's statement on signing the California ‘sanctuary state’ bill

 • California becomes ‘sanctuary state’ from Trump immigration policy

 • California lawmakers passed the ‘sanctuary state’ bill. What happens if Governor Jerry Brown signs it?

 • California lawmakers approve landmark ‘sanctuary state’ bill to expand protections for immigrants

 • How California's Trust Act shaped the debate on the new ‘sanctuary state’ proposal

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