California Governor Jerry Brown signed landmark “sanctuary state” legislation Thursday—under the threat from the Trump administration that there may be some as-yet-unspecified retaliation. The new law will vastly limit who state and local law enforcement agencies can hold, question, and transfer at the request of federal immigration authorities.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the law, which takes effect in January, “unconscionable.” Supporters says it will shield more than 2.3 million immigrants who are living illegally in the state.
Brown 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. At the same time, Brown said, “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, even though the 10th Amendment says the federal government can’t compel local authorities to enforce federal laws.
The bill’s author, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), said 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.
His statements were met with chants of “Sí se pudo,” or “Yes, we could” from the crowd.
Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez thanks Brown for signing bill. He says it'll allow immigrants to drop off kids at school, go to doctor w/o fear pic.twitter.com/v4g5YwGt1h
— Christine Mai-Duc (@cmaiduc) October 5, 2017
Thank goodness there are still people fighting for the rights of hard working immigrants. Hopefully more people do this.
— KWAZARROFTHA9THSTARR (@KingKagn) October 5, 2017
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