Thursday Governor Jerry Brown signed SB54 a bill designed to cut off cooperation between local police and agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Today, ICE responded directly to Gov. Brown and made clear that the result of the new law would be more arrests in neighborhoods and at job sites:
SB54 will negatively impact ICE operations in California by nearly eliminating all cooperation and communication with our law enforcement partners in the state, voiding the delegated authority that the Orange County Sheriff’s Office has under the 287g program, and prohibiting local law enforcement from contracting with the federal government to house detainees.
ICE will have no choice but to conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at worksites, which will inevitably result in additional collateral arrests, instead of focusing on arrests at jails and prisons where transfers are safer for ICE officers and the community. ICE will also likely have to detain individuals arrested in California in detention facilities outside of the state, far from any family they may have in California.
Ultimately, SB54 helps shield removable aliens from immigration enforcement and creates another magnet for more illegal immigration, all at the expense of the safety and security of the very people it purports to protect.
As I wrote last month, the bill as originally designed was even more extreme. It would have prevented ICE agents from speaking to people arrested for violent crimes. Gov. Brown convinced the authors of the bill to water it down in exchange for a guarantee that he would sign it. One of the major impacts of the new law will be the inability of local police to detain individuals in jails to allow ICE agents to pick them up. This means ICE will not have the option in many cases of picking up suspects in a controlled situation. Instead, they will have to find the suspects in the community (at work or home) and arrest them. That could also mean arresting
One of the major impacts of the new law will be the inability of local police to detain individuals in jails to allow ICE agents to pick them up. This means ICE will not have the option in most cases of picking up suspects in a controlled situation. Instead, they will have to find the suspects in the community (at work or home) and arrest them under potentially less safe circumstances. That could also mean arresting other people who are in the vicinity, something immigration advocates usually want to avoid.
The LA Times reports that the author of the bill described it as a “wall of justice” against the Trump administration:
[Senate President Pro Tem Kevin] De León joined Assemblyman Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) and immigrant rights advocates at a news conference in Los Angeles on Thursday, saying the new law would put a kink in Trump’s “perverse and inhumane deportation machine.”
“California is building a wall of justice against President Trump’s xenophobic, racist and ignorant immigration policies,” he said to chants of “Sí se pudo,” or “Yes, we could” from the crowd.
Here’s De León celebrating the passage yesterday.