Local impact of bill declaring California a sanctuary state

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A bill declaring California as a sanctuary state is sitting on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk and he’s expected to sign it. 

The legislature passed it in the early hours of Saturday morning on a party-line vote to protect immigrants who are living here illegally.

This has been a contentious issue in California since President Trump issued a Muslim travel ban that was followed by several cities declaring themselves a sanctuary, or welcoming city.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer has said San Diego is not a sanctuary city because after arrest information on immigration status is provided to the Feds, a sanctuary state would prohibit that sharing of information. 

That was part of the bill, which prevented law enforcement from questioning immigration status or detaining illegals for immigration violations. That protected criminals here illegally.

Gov. Jerry Brown saw that as too restrictive and negotiated amendments to allowed federal authorities to enter county jails and share information as San Diego has been doing.

So, with these amendments, what’s changed?

"In my estimation, it actually makes it stronger. It codifies what we’ve been doing all along," said Assemblymember Rocky Chavez. "It doesn’t change anything, in fact, it outlines a whole series of items where local police forces can contact federal forces for drug running, human trafficking, murder all these crimes, they listed them all."

The issue has split law enforcement. The Police Chief’s Association favored the bill. The sheriffs who operate the jails opposed it.

 To Assemblymember Chavez, whose district includes northern San Diego County, this sanctuary state bill is more about politics than public safety.

"This bill is an example of how politics have gotten in the way of good public policy, and you can see how this was voted down along party line, and how it’s being elevated on talk radio shows and no one’s stopping to say did you read the bill," Chavez said.

Chavez said this as another example of the Democrat majority in Sacramento, engaging in the politics of division rather than an expression of support for 2.3 million undocumented immigrants.

"My impression of the legislature is on one side, it’s a political opportunity to divide Latinos away from Republicans," Chavez said.

Despite all this controversy, and now the entire state becoming a sanctuary haven for illegals, the bill doesn’t really change anything, at least for San Diego. 

Categories: Local San Diego News