SACRAMENTO (ChurchMilitant.com) - Legislation that would make California a sanctuary state is advancing.
California Senate President Kevin de León introduced Senate Bill 54, known as the California Values Act (CVA) in December 2016. The law would protect illegal aliens from deportation.
The Senate Public Safety Committee approved the CVA by a 5–2 vote on Tuesday, January 31, and it will now move to the full senate for a vote, where the Democrats have a super-majority.
The CVA states, "In no event shall state or local law enforcement agencies or school police or security departments transfer an individual to federal immigration authorities for purposes of immigration enforcement or detain an individual at the request of federal immigration authorities for purposes of immigration enforcement absent a judicial warrant."
De León has criticized Trump's executive actions, saying, "These are spiteful and mean-spirited directives that only instill fear in the hearts of millions of people who pay taxes, contribute to our economy and our way of life. Tearing apart honest, hardworking families is not the answer."
Governor Jerry Brown remarked in his State of the State speech on January 24, "We will defend everybody — every man, woman and child — who has come here for a better life and has contributed to the well-being of our state."
The comments of De León, Brown, as well as the advancement of the CVA, come in response to President Trump's recent executive orders on sanctuary cities:
[Cities] that fail to comply with applicable Federal law do not receive Federal funds, except as mandated by law. The Attorney General and the [Homeland Security] Secretary, in their discretion and to the extent consistent with law, shall ensure that jurisdictions that willfully refuse to comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373 (sanctuary jurisdictions) are not eligible to receive Federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes by the Attorney General or the Secretary.
On January 26, Trump tweeted praise for Mayor Carlos Gimenez for dropping Miami's sanctuary city policy: "Miami-Dade mayor drops sanctuary policy. Right decision. Strong!"
During his presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly pledged to cut off federal funds to sanctuary cities, which harbor illegal immigrants from prosecution, and he has made good on this promise.
Trump's administration is coming under legal fire from the city of San Francisco and the state of Washington, both suing the administration over what they deem an unconstitutional measure.
Bob Ferguson, Washington state attorney general, remarked concerning the suit, "If successful, it would have the effect of invalidating the president's unlawful action nationwide."
Trump has ordered his Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, along with his incoming Attorney General Jeff Sessions, to strip sanctuary cities of their funding and to crack down on illegal immigration.
Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary, commented, "Federal agencies are going to unapologetically enforce the law, no ifs, ands or buts. We're going to strip federal grant money from the sanctuary states and cities that harbor illegal immigrants."