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California: The Sanctuary State


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American Thinker:

Americans are familiar with sanctuary cities and counties but now California appears to be heading toward becoming the first sanctuary state. While Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Arizona have passed legislation taking a tougher stand on illegal immigration, California is heading in the opposite direction with bills such as AB 540, AB 1081, AB 130, and AB 131. American Thinker interviewed several of those who are knowledgeable about the situation in California.

California AB 1081, recently passed by the Democratic majority Assembly, would require the Department of Justice to renegotiate its 2009 agreement: to participate in the Federal Secure Communities Act (SCA), which is an information sharing partnership between Federal, State, and local agencies. An ICE spokesperson described the Act as a mandatory requirement for law enforcement to submit the fingerprints of anyone arrested to "the FBI to be checked against the Department of Justice's biometric system...and are automatically sent to DHS's biometric system to check against its immigration and law enforcement records." Those that support the bill want to modify the Secure Communities Act to stop the information sharing with ICE. However, an ICE official insisted that their local field office, "and not the state or any local law enforcement agency, determines what immigration enforcement action, if any, is appropriate...The local field office in that jurisdiction will or will not take enforcement action based on the fingerprint results... State and local jurisdictions cannot opt out of the program."

Then Attorney General Jerry Brown supported this program, SCA, when he wrote to the San Francisco Sheriff last year, "You requested that the California Department of Justice block ICE from running checks on the fingerprints collected in San Francisco. The Secure Communities program is up and running...because I think this program serves both public safety and the interest of justice, I am declining your request." Now that he is Governor I hope that he will veto this bill, since it gives local law enforcement the option of not participating in the fingerprint-sharing program; essentially removing California counties from the mandatory Federal program. snip
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