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California legislature passes bill to become sanctuary state
17 September 2017, 12:14 | Darnell Patrick
Colin McConnell Toronto Star Getty
A nationally watched bill to prevent local and state police from taking part in federal immigration enforcement passed the California Legislature early Saturday morning and heads to Gov.
The California Values Act at first would have prohibited state and local law enforcement agencies from using any resources to hold, question or share information about people with federal immigration agents, unless they had violent or serious criminal convictions.
This year, California lawmakers have strengthened protections for undocumented immigrants, increased the gasoline tax and extended a program aimed at compelling businesses to reduce air pollution, all in opposition to federal policies.
"These amendments do not mean to erode the core mission of this measure, which is to protect hardworking families that have contributed greatly to our culture and the economy", he said.
Police and sheriff's officials, including jail officers, will still be able to work with federal immigration authorities if a person has been convicted of one of some 800 crimes, mostly felonies and misdemeanors that can be charged as felonies.
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Trump had said he would cancel the scheme, while giving Congress six months to enact a replacement plan for DACA recipients. DACA gives eligible individuals a two-year period of deferred deportation and allows them to have a work permit.
"It's a purposeful positioning", said political analyst Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a senior fellow at the University of Southern California.
The changes did not mollify U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Thomas Homan, who said the bill will deliberately destruct immigration laws and shelter criminals. The bill also prohibits police and sheriff officers from inquiring about a person's immigration status. The California Sheriffs' Association continues to oppose it.
Democratic Senator Mike McGuire, who co-authored the bill, said in a statement that SB 149 restores necessary transparency to presidential elections.
Earlier Friday, a federal judge in Chicago ruled against the Trump administration and an order issued by Attorney General Jeff Sessions requiring so-called sanctuary cities to cooperate with immigration agents in order to get federal funding in the form of public safety grants.
Democrats noted that when immigrants trust law enforcement, they are more likely to report crimes and come forward as witnesses to crimes.
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Renault-Nissan CEO confident in electrics future
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