California becomes sanctuary state

California passes 'sanctuary' state law limiting collaboration between police and ICE

Immigration and Customs Enforcement will also likely have to place immigrants arrested in California in out-of-state detention centers, ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan said in a statement.

Brown signs "sanctuary state" bill expanding protections for undocumented immigrantsUnder the law, police, sheriff's officials and jail officers will be barred from transferring immigrants to federal authorities if their rap sheet includes only minor offenses.

Federal judges have also temporarily blocked the president's January executive order that sought to restrict federal funding to what are known as sanctuary cities, which limit their cooperation with immigration agents. Jerry Brown signed SB54 into law, canceling nearly all cooperation state and local authorities can give to federal deportation officers.

"Discretion" is given to law enforcement agencies to work with immigration officers if the person has been convicted of a felony, according to the author.

In another sign of escalating tensions between President Donald Trump's administration and California, the nation's top immigration official said Friday his agency will have "no choice" but to arrest immigrants who are in the country illegally in California's neighborhoods and worksites.

California is home to an estimated 2.3 million unauthorized immigrants.

Trump administration slammed California for passing the bill, raising concerns over "criminal aliens".

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Brown insisted in his signing statement the measure will not "prevent or prohibit Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or the Department of Homeland Security from doing their own work in any way" - but it will stop local authorities from assisting. It is the signature piece of a package of 11 bills establishing protections for undocumented residents of California.

"No one at this point believes that ICE is remotely interested in public safety - and ironically their threats only make more clear the need for localities and states to enact better policies to uphold the law", Sarmiento said.

"You might do this as an example to other states: 'Instead of pulling people out of jail cells, we're going to be pulling people out of school drop-off lines, '" said Thad Kousser, a professor of California politics at UC San Diego. "The question is how far can the state of California push the Trump administration", he said, "because to be honest, SB 54 is an openly defiant act". Kevin de León's original intent to offer sanctuary to most immigrants except those who committed the most heinous crimes.

The California Police Chiefs Association takes a neutral stand regarding the bill, the Sacramento Bee reported, adding that the sheriffs' organization remains against it and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions had publicly urged Brown to veto it.

SEIU United Service Workers West President David Huerta said SB 54 is a first step toward fixing the "broken immigration system" in the United States.

The bill signed into law by Brown also includes assistance for students and measures to combat abuse of tenants.

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