Amended bill to make CA into sanctuary state passes in state senate

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A bill to make California a “sanctuary state” passed in the state senate Saturday after new amendments were added to the bill.

SB 54 is known as the California Values Act, and if signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, it will prevent state and local authorities from aiding the federal government in enforcing immigration policies.

The bill would require that state and local resources not be used to “investigate, interrogate, detain, detect, or arrest persons for immigration enforcement purposes.”

The next step for SB 54 is for Brown to sign it into law, according to field representative Ryan Trabuco from the office of State Senator Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, a co-author of the bill.

SB 54 passed in both state legislative houses after negotiations between Brown and California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, who introduced the bill. According to NPR, these negotiations resulted in amendments to bill, detailing situations in which the state and local authorities would have to cooperate with federal immigration authorities

If SB 54 is passed, the federal government’s ability to deport individuals will be weakened — but not completely blocked — without the help of state and local officials, according to Time Magazine.

The university has not taken a position on SB 54, according to UC spokesperson Claire Doan. UC Berkeley and BUSD campuses, however, are already considered “sanctuary spaces,” according to Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín. This means that local and state officials are not required to comply or assist federal officials in seeking out and detaining undocumented individuals.

Berkeley has been a “sanctuary city” for 10 years, and Arreguín said he is “very excited and proud” that SB 54 passed on the senate floor.

In a January executive order, President Donald Trump threatened to cut federal funding for states that do not cooperate with federal authorities, which could potentially impact California if SB 54 is signed in to law.

Arreguín said he believes that state and local authorities should not cooperate with the federal government because of Trump’s “aggressive” enforcement of immigration law and the “broken immigration system.”

“Our police will not be immigration police,” Arreguín said.

Contact Matthew Lo at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @matthewlo_dc.

Correction(s):
Due to misinformation from a source, a previous version of this article incorrectly stated that federal officials cannot arrest undocumented individuals in “sanctuary spaces.” In fact, in Berkeley, local authorities cannot prevent federal officials from arresting undocumented individuals.