Only in California. California State Senator Kevin de Leon has introduced a bill, SB-54 or the “California Values Act” (because if you disagree with this legislation then you’re obviously just an immoral, racist asshole), that explicitly prohibits “state and local law enforcement agencies” from investigating, detaining, detecting, reporting or arresting people for “immigration enforcement purposes.” Moreover, the bill would force “public schools, hospitals, and courthouses” to establish “safe zones” that “limit immigration enforcement on their
This bill 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.
In support of the legislation, De Leon notes that “immigrants are valuable and essential members of the California community” and that attempts to enforce immigration laws simply create fear of the police among “immigrant community members” who then shy away from “approaching police when they are victims of, and witnesses to, crimes.” Yes, by that logic we should probably stop enforcing all laws because we suspect that pretty much everyone that has broken a state or federal law is somewhat reluctant to approach the police…which is totally unfair!
885.2. The Legislature finds and declares the following:
(a) Immigrants are valuable and essential members of the California community. Almost one in three Californians is foreign born and one in two children in California has at least one immigrant parent.
(b) A relationship of trust between California’s immigrant community and state and local law enforcement agencies is central to the public safety of the people of California.
(c) This trust is threatened when local law enforcement agencies are entangled with federal immigration enforcement, with the result that immigrant community members fear approaching police when they are victims of, and witnesses to, crimes.
(d) This act seeks to protect the safety and constitutional rights of the people of California, and to direct the state’s limited resources to matters of greatest concern to state and local governments.
Meanwhile, per The Hill, De Leon has vowed that California will be the “wall of justice” for illegal immigrants “should the incoming administration adopt an inhumane and over-reaching mass-deportation policy.”
The bill “will make it clear California public schools, hospitals, and courthouses will not be used by the Trump regime to deport our families, friends, neighbors, classmates and co-workers,” said Assemblyman Marc Levine (D), the bill’s chief sponsor in the lower chamber.
The measure does not prohibit law enforcement agencies from transferring violent offenders into federal custody to be deported. But it does prohibit those agencies from acting as federal immigration officers and cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in order to deport other undocumented immigrants.
“To the millions of undocumented residents pursuing and contributing to the California Dream, the state of California will be your wall of justice should the incoming administration adopt an inhumane and over-reaching mass-deportation policy,” de León said in a statement.
Of course, all of this begs the question of why, if the State of California is allowed to pick and choose which federal laws it decides to enforce, would municipalities and local police departments have to enforce all state laws…perhaps we should take it one step further and just let each city police department pick which laws they want to enforce.
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