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California bolsters 'sanctuary state' immigrant protections in last-minute vote

California bolsters 'sanctuary state' immigrant protections in last-minute vote

The bill now goes to the State Senate, which is expected to vote on the measure late Friday or early Saturday.

The bill, a compromise from a version that sought to severely restrict interactions between law enforcement and immigration officials, does allow communities to notify the federal government if they have arrested an undocumented immigrant with a felony record. However, in a concession to Governor Brown, Democrats agreed the state prison system would be exempted from most of the requirements.

The Republican minority in the Legislature opposed the bill. But immigrant rights groups applauded the final bill, noting that it represented a strong rebuke of President Donald Trump's anti-immigration agenda, including the Justice Department's threats to withhold law enforcement grants from sanctuary cities.

The California State Assembly passed a package of housing bills Thursday night, potentially appropriating billions for affordable housing development and rewriting the way California cities manage new development.

The bill was introduced just before President Trump's inauguration and met opposition from some in California law enforcement, including many local sheriffs who lobbied California Gov.

In arguing against the measure, Republicans in the Assembly invoked the 2015 shooting of Kate Steinle by an undocumented immigrant in San Francisco, arguing that sanctuary protections make communities less safe.

California's immigration laws are considered among the friendliest in the country and the state is often referred to as a "sanctuary state". It would prohibit local officers from inquiring about someone's immigration status and would prevent police from being deputized as immigration agents.

Democratic Senator Mike McGuire, who co-authored the bill, said in a statement that SB 149 restores necessary transparency to presidential elections.

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".

"Californians will not squander precious public safety dollars to tear families apart, take "Dreamers" or deport people who have helped California become the sixth largest economy in the world", de León said.


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