Opportunistic California Democrats are presenting bills to refute the recent immigration executive orders of President Donald J. Trump, to protect Americans.
Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, the author of Senate Bill 54, says that ”immigrants are valuable and essential members of the California community” and all attempts to enforce immigration laws create fear of the police among “immigrant community members” who fear “approaching police when they are victims of, and witnesses to, crimes.”
Despite the wave of refugees coming to the United States from Syria and Iraq under the Obama administration, California Democrats are denying national security issues, in favor of political opportunism. California is home to the largest illegal-alien population in the country, with 35 sanctuary cities. President-elect Trump has vowed to build a border wall and deport immigrants that have a criminal record, which he estimates to be two-three million.
Several bills authored by Senate Democrats in the California State Legislature are meant to be a thumb in the eye of President Donald J. Trump over immigration laws.
SB6 by Sen. Ben Hueso would create a state program to fund legal representation for illegal aliens facing deportation, and AB3 by Assemblyman Rob Bonta would create taxpayer-funded training for defense attorneys and public defenders on immigration law for illegal aliens.
The third bill, SB54 by Sen. Pres. Pro Tem Kevin de León, heard Tuesday in the Senate Public Safety Committee, seeks to restrict local police and sheriffs from working with federal immigration enforcers. SB54 prohibits law enforcement from responding to federal requests for notification when a jail houses someone who might be the subject of an immigration enforcement action. Whether the immigrants are here legally or not, and whether they have committed crimes in the United States, this bill effectively prohibits communications between local law enforcement and federal authorities.
SB54 specifically prohibits almost all cooperation and communication with federal immigration authorities.
Sen. Pres. Pro Tem Kevin de León and California Democrats essentially want to bar state and local resources from being used for immigration enforcement. De León said Tuesday the cost to California to help U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detail suspected illegal immigrants is $65 million.
Proponents of SB54 claimed the Trump administration’s executive order is just more racial profiling, and California’s long-standing history of welcoming immigrants overrides illegal immigration enforcement.
Concerned about releasing criminal illegal aliens back into society, Sen. Jeff Stone, R- Temecula, asked repeatedly for assurances that the bill would not allow this. “When we have dangerous felons, undocumented felons, in prison, should they NOT be deported and prosecuted under the law?” Stone asked de León. Stone said he was concerned they will be released back into communities and cause heinous crimes, similar to what happened to Kate Steinle, who was murdered by a five-time deported criminal illegal alien.
Stone said the bill was making California a sanctuary state, if passed in its virgin form. Stone tried to get de León to agree to an amendment regarding criminal illegal aliens, but de León resisted.
“The bill decouples criminal acts from immigration statute,” de León said. “It doesn’t stop ICE from doing their job,” dodging the question.
Stone questioned de León again, asking if he would “be supportive of any amendment to allow local law enforcement to pick up dangerous criminal immigrants.”
“It’s not necessary,” de León said. “There is nothing stopping ICE from getting the individual.”
Another dodge from Stone’s question, splitting hairs. Stone asked if local law enforcement would be able to assist ICE only in cases of criminal illegal aliens, and de León replied, there is nothing stopping ICE from doing this – no mention of local law enforcement assistance.
“What is particularly alarming is a very false dichotomy, fueled by hyperbole and rhetoric,” said Committee Chairwoman Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley. “All of us wand hardened criminals prosecuted under the law. We are watching now a pitting of the people against each other – of immigrants. That is not right.” Skinner talked again, for the third or fourth time in two days about “easily manipulable fear,” and said “the state of California will not be compliant with authoritarian policies.”
Cynthia Buiza of the California Immigrant Policy Center, a witness at the hearing in support of SB54, launched into an out-of-order editorial, calling Trump’s order “anti-immigrant, zenophobic and propaganda,” explains more from her organization’s website: “The California Values Act answers the ugly slurs of xenophobia with a simple but profound truth: all people are created equal. Against Trump and other forces who seek to demonize and persecute immigrants, the Golden State must embrace and defend our common humanity and deepest values. Getting law enforcement out of painful deportations, protecting the integrity of public spaces, and rejecting any registry which target Muslims will send a potent message to the nation – and the world.”
From the Bill:
SB-54 would, among other things, prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies and school police and security departments from using resources to investigate, detain, detect, report, or arrest persons for immigration enforcement purposes, or to investigate, enforce, or assist in the investigation or enforcement of any federal program requiring registration of individuals on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or national or ethnic origin, as specified. The bill would require state agencies to review their confidentiality policies and identify any changes necessary to ensure that information collected from individuals is limited to that necessary to perform agency duties and is not used or disclosed for any other purpose, as specified. The bill would require public schools, hospitals, and courthouses to establish and make public policies that limit immigration enforcement on their premises and would require the Attorney General, in consultation with appropriate stakeholders, to publish model policies for use by those entities for those purposes.
SB54 passed the Senate Public Safety Committee along party lines.