California Welcomes Illegals
California governor Jerry Brown has signed into law Senate Bill 54 effectively making California the first ‘sanctuary state’ for illegal immigrants. The legislation, a decision criticized by the Trump administration, comes into effect January 2018 and would grant protection from state enforcement of immigration laws.
Bill 54 is part of a series of laws which protect the almost 3 million illegal aliens living in California – most of whom are from Mexico or Central America.
Brown insisted in his signing statement the measure will not “prevent or prohibit Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or the Department of Homeland Security from doing their own work in any way” — but it will stop local authorities from assisting.
“They are free to use their own considerable resources to enforce federal immigration law in California,” he wrote, adding that the new legislation will not deny ICE access to prisons.
ICE acting director Tom Homan has since responded: “The governor is simply wrong.” The law will “undermine public safety and hinder ICE from performing its federally mandated mission,” Homan said.
“Ultimately, SB54 creates another magnet for more illegal immigration,” he insisted, adding ICE will have “no choice but to conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at worksites, which will inevitably result in additional collateral arrests.”
ICE said it will also likely send immigrants arrested in California to detention centers outside of the state, “far from any family they may have in California.”
A number of cities in California, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, have already banned police officers from collaborating with ICE on operations to capture undocumented immigrants.
Last week, ICE detained 450 undocumented immigrants in the United States — 101 of whom were in Los Angeles.
The bill signed into law by Brown also includes assistance for students and measures to combat abuse of tenants.