California Lawmakers Approve Sanctuary Bill

Image via the AP

The California Legislature Saturday passed a "sanctuary state" bill to protect immigrants without legal residency in the USA, part of a broader push by Democrats to counter expanded deportation orders under the Trump administration.

The California Assembly voted in favor of SB 54 Friday, which would prohibit law enforcement from conducting front-line immigration enforcement but allows jail officials to notify federal agents about some people in detention.

According to The Sacramento Bee, this is at least the third time in the last decade a park and beach smoking ban bill has been sent to the governor's desk, but each have been rejected with the most recent veto coming previous year from the Democratic governor.

But the law has backers too: San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who simply called it "a reasonable streamlining bill", and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff, who said in August, "We need to plan and prepare for accommodating diverse populations and more dense development in our existing footprint". But it now allows local police to respond to notification requests and transfers immigrants to U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement if the individual has committed one of the more than 800 crimes outlined in The Trust Act. Jerry Brown for signature.

A compromise hammered out earlier this week between Brown and California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León carved out exceptions to the new restrictions.

California's Democratic political leaders have positioned the nation's largest state as a foil to Trump and his administration.

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The bill passed 50-26 and was headed back to the state Senate late Friday for final approval before going to Gov.

Homan says if the governor signs the legislation it will "make California communities less safe".

California's immigration laws are considered among the friendliest in the country and the state is often referred to as a "sanctuary state".

The California Police Chiefs Association went neutral on the measure after Brown's demands were reflected in the last round of amendments.

The legislature also passed a package of bills aimed at increasing the availability of affordable housing in the notoriously expensive state, and approved a plan for spending $1.5 billion in income from the state's cap-and-trade air quality program, which raises money by selling businesses limited rights to emit pollutants.

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