SACRAMENTO – Legislation by California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) to head off a Trump Administration plan to enlist state and local police as immigration enforcement agents has been amended to make it stronger and has picked up a key supporter.
Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove), a 30-year veteran and Captain of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, has agreed to be a principal co-author of SB 54, the California Values Act.
“The California Values Act will not only protect our most vulnerable residents, but will also protect the public by ensuring that local law enforcement personnel will not assist in the deportation of our residents, but rather, will continue to serve and protect our local communities,” said Assemblymember Cooper.
Senate Leader de León said Assemblymember Cooper’s support “validates the California Values Act as a necessary public-safety measure.”
The bill was recently amended to ensure the federal government has a 60-day advance notice before violent felons are released from state prison or local custody, giving immigration officials ample time to pick up targeted criminals.
The California Values Act goes before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday.
The Trump Administration has launched a new and broad federal mass deportation program that targets the 3 million undocumented immigrants here in California. The lynchpin to the program is enlisting local law enforcement in the crack down.
“When local police are deputized to enforce immigration laws our communities become more – not less – dangerous,” said Senator de León. “Our limited law enforcement resources are squandered when police officers are pulled from their duties to arrest otherwise law-abiding maids, students, busboys, and day laborers for immigration violations.
“Undocumented residents will not report crimes for fear of deportation and criminals will roam free to victimize others,” de León added.
A new study by a University of California, San Diego professor found that cities that do not directly coordinate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are safer in the aggregate and enjoy a stronger economy.
The California Values Act will prevent state, local, and school police using their resources to investigate, detain, or arrest individuals for immigration violations. State and local police will continue to comply with judicial warrants to transfer dangerous offenders into federal custody for immigration enforcement purposes.
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