Society

California Moves Forward On Statewide Sanctuary Bill

| by Ray Brown

The California state Senate passed a bill that would make the entire state a "sanctuary" for undocumented immigrants by prohibiting the federal government from using local law enforcement resources to arrest some immigrants.

The bill will now move to the state assembly for a final vote.

Senate Bill 54, introduced by Democratic Sen. President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, passed the state senate along party lines, 27-12.

"We will cooperate with our friends at the federal level with serious and violent felons. But we won't cooperate or lift a finger or spend a single cent when we're talking about separating children from their mothers, mothers from their children," de Leon said, according to the Associated Press. "That's not who we are as a great state."

While California Democrats praised the bill, Republicans were cautious about its effects.

"This bill is unsafe," said Republican state Sen. Jeff Stone, according to the Sacramento Bee. "This bill is unlawful. This bill is designed to make California a sanctuary for certain dangerous criminals."

And Stone went on to warn of retaliation from President Donald Trump.

"By passing this today you'll be kicking the president right in the groin, and I can imagine he's going to strike back," Stone said.

In January, Trump signed an executive order that threatened to withdraw federal monies from self-declared sanctuary cities.

"Sanctuary jurisdictions across the United States willfully violate Federal law in an attempt to shield aliens from removal from the United States," Trump's order states. "These jurisdictions have caused immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our Republic."

But de Leon dismissed the idea that California needs federal money.

"We’re the great state of California. We don’t grovel and put our hand out so we can get a little budget money so we can buy a police car," he said, according to KQED. "That’s not who we are as a great state. Our role and responsibility is to protect all individuals and make sure our communities are safer."

But Republican state Sen. John Moorlach said California doesn't have the money to rebuke the federal government.

"California has a very precarious budget," Moorlach said. "It has major unfunded liabilities. It has major retiree medical expenses. It has severe infrastructure concerns. We just don’t need to jeopardize a funding source from the federal government."

According to the Los Angeles Times, the federal government spends $367.8 billion a year on California.

Sources: Associated Press, KQED, Sacramento Bee, White House, Los Angeles Times / Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons/BenFranske

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