Society

Lawmakers Could Make California A 'Sanctuary State'

| by Ray Brown

California lawmakers will debate about whether to make the entire state a "sanctuary" for undocumented immigrants.

"To the millions of undocumented residents pursuing and contributing to the California Dream, the state of California will be your wall of justice should the incoming administration adopt an inhumane and over-reaching mass-deportation policy," California Senate President pro Tem Kevin de Leon said in a statement, according to the Los Angeles Times.

De Leon, who has proposed the legislation to make California a sanctuary state, said President Donald Trump's executive orders on immigration, including building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries, are a threat to California’s fundamental values, reported the San Diego Union-Tribune.

"It almost seems that they want to shock and awe and instill fear," De Leon said.

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The Democratic lawmaker also blasted Republicans for not standing up to Trump.

"The blood will be on their hands," De Leon said. "Because there's no hyperbole or exaggeration when I say people will die as a result."

Not everyone in California, however, is on board with a statewide law to hinder federal immigration authorities from deporting undocumented immigrants.

"Passions are still high after the last election, and I hope we can all agree to take a deep breath and avoid a rush to introduce legislation like this," said California Senate Republican leader Jean Fuller in a statement, according to the Los Angeles Times. "We need to support our law enforcement and make sure that the legislature is not passing bills that would limit their ability to keep all Californians safe."

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Some larger California cities, including Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Francisco, have sanctuary city laws on the books that prevent local police from stopping a person solely to inquire about their immigration status. Many other cities, meanwhile, do not, reported KCBS and the Associated Press.

Sources: San Diego Union-Tribune, Los Angeles Times, KCBS / Photo Credit: Pitzer College/Flickr

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