California’s ‘sanctuary state’ law could be blocked by voters

From the Sacramento Bee:

Opponents of California’s recently approved “sanctuary state” measure have launched an effort to overturn the law.

Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced Monday that a referendum on Senate Bill 54, the controversial law limiting state and local police agencies’ ability to work with federal immigration authorities, has been cleared to gather signatures.

Introduced by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León in late 2016, shortly after the election of President Donald Trump, SB 54 aims to prevent California police resources from being “commandeered” by the Trump administration as it ramps up deportations.

Ben Bergquam, a spokesman for the referendum campaign, said those efforts to “undermine” the federal government amount to “sedition.”

“It’s lawless. It’s politicians protecting criminal illegals at the expense of law-abiding citizens,” he said. “It’s a slap in the face to American sovereignty and the citizens of our country.”

Proponents have until Jan. 3, 2018, to collect signatures from at least 365,880 registered voters. If they are successful, the referendum will appear on the November 2018 ballot, where voters will be asked whether or not to uphold SB 54. Bergquam said the campaign has no major funders yet, but it is reaching out to law enforcement groups that oppose the law. …

Click here to read the full story from the Sacramento Bee

California is now a sanctuary state. Is non-citizen voting next?

Protesters chant during a May Day demonstration outside a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in San Francisco on Monday. Thousands are expected to take to the streets across the United States to participate in May Day demonstrations.

With Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature on Senate Bill 54, California now calls itself a sanctuary state. There is strong symbolism in the move, although California governments’ actions relative to individuals in the country illegally will change little in many parts of the state.

Brown’s demand that some 700 additional crimes be added to the list that federal agents could use in examining immigrants changed the bill author Sen. Kevin de León’s original intent to offer sanctuary to most immigrants except those who committed the most heinous crimes.

Brown went out of his way to write in his message accompanying his signature that the bill “strikes a balance that will protect public safety.”

Opponents of Brown’s action disagree. State senator Ted Gaines predicted that California would become “a giant magnet pulling every illegal alien criminal in the country to our state.”

For many supporters of the sanctuary state bill, SB 54 did not go far enough. They accepted the final version for the message it sent, the symbolism. But they want more. Where does the push for gaining more protections for illegal immigrants go now and how far will California voters allow it to go?

It is doubtful that the list of crimes that Brown insisted be added before he signed the bill would be reduced. Even a new governor will not do that. The public safety community still remains split over the effects of the bill.

Likely there will be a push for more empowerment for immigrants. Already illegal immigrants have been granted drivers licenses. Some local governments have set up taxpayer-funded legal aid to immigrants in the country without legal documents. San Francisco voters approved a measure last November to allow parents of children in the school system, whether the parents are legal citizens or not, to vote in school board elections. Now, California declares itself a sanctuary state.

Don’t be surprised if the next push is to grow the voting franchise for non-citizen immigrants.

Symbolic measures do matter in moving public affairs debates.

Joel Fox is editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily.

This article originally appeared on Fox and Hounds Daily.