California Makes Move to Become First Sanctuary State

(Photo: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

               As the current administration increases threats of deportation to immigrants, California lawmakers feel it is necessary to regulate communication between the federal government and local law enforcement. Last week, the California State Senate approved a bill to increase protections for immigrants by prohibiting local law enforcement agencies from using resources to investigate, report, or arrest people for immigration violations.

               If the bill is approved it could help prevent the deportation of immigrants who have no criminal charges. The passed bill would not only counter the federal commands, but it would also make California the country’s first ever sanctuary state. Though the golden state is spearheading the directive, it is not the only one taking action. Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, and New York have also made efforts to restrain cooperation with immigration officials. Under federal law it is currently acceptable for police officers to look up anyone they pull over in a national database and notify ICE. The law would prohibit this action, making a significant impact on the lives of immigrants living in the U.S.

               Opposers to the bill are taking opposite action.Texas Governor Greg Abbott is pushing a law that would require police to comply with ICE. In his view, he “will not tolerate sanctuary city policies that put the citizens of Texas at risk . . . Elected officials do not get to pick and choose which laws they will obey.”

               On the other hand, President of the California Senate, Kevin de León feels, “It’s the absolute height of ridiculousness that ICE would come in and just deport somebody as opposed to that person having their day in immigration court.”

Alanna Shingler Staff Reporter