New Bill Would Stop State Prison Employees From Transferring Immigrant Criminals to ICE Custody

Wednesday, a bill that would stop state or local law enforcement from arresting or assisting in arresting in transferring prisoners for immigration enforcement reasons was given tentative Assembly committee dates.

Assembly Bill 937, authored by Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo (D-Los Angeles) would prohibit state and local agencies, such as state prison employees and law enforcement, from arresting or facilitating the arrest, confinement, detention, transfer, interrogation, or deportation of an individual for an immigration enforcement purpose. Immigration status would also not longer be a factor in denying placement in certain probation or credit earning programs while in prison.

AB 937 will also no longer require the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to identify inmates in state prisons who are undocumented felons subject to deportation, nor will they require reporting of those statistics to the state Legislature. State and local criminal offender information systems will also see a major change, no longer requiring that place of birth be listed as it would help more easily identify immigrants.

Assemblywoman Carrillo largely wrote the law to stop CDCR prisons from transferring inmates to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody as federal law currently allows the deportation of immigrants who have been convicted of certain crimes. While local law enforcement is currently prohibited from working with ICE on certain crimes due to the passage of SB 54, also known as the California Values Act, in 2017, it did now extend to state prison officials, allowing federal deportations to continue from the state level of California for the last four years. According to the Asian Prisoner Support Committee, this allowed more than 1,400 immigrant criminals to be deported in 2020 alone.

“It is time to end the double punishment of immigrant Californians,” noted Assemblywoman Carrillo last week. “We do not need to devote valuable time and resources on unnecessary ICE transfers.”

AB 937, also called the VISION Act, quickly gained support since being introduced last week, getting 6 additional co-authors in as many days and moving up quickly for committee introduction despite not being COVID-19 affiliated like most other bills this session. An online conference on Wednesday with Carrillo, Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), and other lawmakers further bolstered support numbers.

“Let’s do this,” tweeted Assemblywoman Carrillo on Wednesday. “The [VISION Act] will be a game changer for immigrants and restorative justice. Proud to author this legislation and work with so many incredible advocates.”

Problems with AB 937

While many have opposed the bill, including many prison workers groups, experts note that even with the passage of AB 937 the federal government still has many other ways to deport immigrants with criminal records.

“This is one loophole on a string filled with loopholes,” former immigration lawyer James Van Horn told the Globe. “So state prisons can’t get them directly. It’s still federal law though. So once they are out they can be nabbed. Or if they’re out on bail. Basically what the state is doing is basically giving them time in prison before being deported with this bill.”

“California legislators like to think that they’re defeating ICE this way, but they really aren’t. They like to say that they are stopping deportations, but the reality is that they still happen all the time and have gone up in the state since 2017. They only dropped last year due to the pandemic, not because of policy. And even that 100 day deportation block that President Biden installed when he was sworn in. That’s being fought back and forth in the courts right now, and once that is over with in the 100 days or less, ICE is going to have a field day. I know from talking with ICE officers before that they work up lists during down time, so it’s only going to climb right back up.”

“All the state is doing with this bill is saying that the immigrants who committed crimes need to serve time in jail first before being deported. It’s just another step. So when they are deported, they go in to that country not only with a criminal record, but also several years of down time from whatever they had done for work. If they were looking for a way to hurt immigrants more, they found it.”

AB 937 is due to be assigned a committee in the coming weeks.

This article was originally published by the California Globe.

Comments

  1. They should give Carrillo’s business card to everyone involved in the whole draconian process. For a “nation of laws” our fully politicized immigration system is dysfunctional and getting worse. Go online and watch “Immigration Marbles”. It is a prospective everyone needs to learn.

  2. I hope all of the people who voted for this insanity get what they deserve.

  3. After you recall Pretty Boy Nesom at RecallGavin2020.com
    then go after this dumbass!

  4. Kathy Farmer says

    Too bad they don’t believe in following the laws of this nation. I am so sad to see CA and this country going down the tubes.

  5. This dumbass wants to make CA like Mexico- All laws can be broken for a price. This is why people do not feel safe in Mexico and it is happening here in CA. Just come to CA illegally and spread your diseases and bribe any and all you can too.
    Legal migrants do not like the USA laws broken any more than other citizens.
    Gruesome Newsome likes to get away with law breaking and his Aunt Nan is not bothered by it either.I prefer that the paths here be honest and above-board.
    Sad —What will be, will be!

  6. Richard Cathcart says

    Since Biden-Harris was America’s Border Patrol will soon be refashioned as the US Border Usher Corps, perhaps a slew of profitable Snack Stands and sandal repair shops will also be established. This notion of non-turnover to ICE means that (1) taxpayers must continue to pay the high costs of holding such persons and (2) the coming US Border Usher Corps will simply allow the turnovers to return (& make money for the Federals on America’s side of the boundary). Obviously, CA taxpayers are the BIG losers! So, let’s institute a new parallel idea: build and provide labor for mobile trailers offering services and products illegal migrants will need on their long trek to inland sources of income!!!

  7. Ms Carrillo typifies the ASS in ASSembly. I wonder how many donations to her campaign were made by Mexican cartels. Maybe an audit is in order.

  8. Linda Diehl says

    STOP SITTING ON YOUR HANDS!! Assembly Bill 937 is downright EVIL and BAD for Californians!! Can’t they see that these people can and WILL do us harm, possibly physical harm?? or worse….!! THIS is wrong-wrong-wrong!! Protest!! STAND UP for what is RIGHT by doing something to protest what’s WRONG!! We must stop cussing these people out and START TO ACT for ourselves — start to DO!!

    At a minimum….. I call on EVERY person who voted for Trump in 2020 to cancel their Twitter AND FaceBook accounts! There are GREAT alternatives so you can STILL socially network with your friends! DO THE WORK and MAKE THE POINT! God bless America and TAKE A STAND against these mega-corps who are working to take away our First Amendment Rights!! AND We’ll be able to write to great Alternatives to the dem-dem-dem drumbeat which is tearing California apart! We must DO, people. Not just complain!

  9. Of course Wendy Carrillo will be understanding when northern counties began to ignore Sacramento.

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