'Sanctuary state' bill would change how ICE operations conducted across CA

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A program in place since June 2016 let Fresno County authorities link ICE officials to more than 300 people for deportation consideration, but SB-54 would change that if passed. (KFSN)

At the hands of California lawmakers is a nine-page bill titled SB-54.

If passed, it will stop local law enforcement agencies from using resources to help with immigration enforcement.

"We couldn't spend any money allow them access to any databases, talk about immigration status as far as deporting, even criminals, people who have committed crimes," Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims explained.

Mims says the proposal could drastically affect a program used for inmates.

"Currently, in our jail, when a person is booked into our jail ICE has the ability to look at our database and make a determination if there is somebody in custody that they may want to interview and ask questions or take custody of for multiple offenses," she explained.

That program has been in place since June of 2016, and since then, the county has been able to link ICE officials to more than 300 people for deportation consideration.

"We are talking about gang members, repeat offenders, those with multiple deportation offenses," she said. "Those are the ones they took into custody."

The bill has sparked an outcry from sheriffs up and down the state.

"This absolutely will create the situation where more and more violent serious felons are getting out of our jail and continuing to prey on other and make more victims," Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said.

But local organization Faith in Fresno supports the controversial bill.

"We believe that there is already a flawed criminal justice system and our undocumented families are being punished twice, essentially," Leticia Valencia with the group said. "And they're not just punishing the individual, being taken and deported and ripped away from their family, they are also punishing the kids that are left behind."

The bill requires a two-thirds majority vote in the assembly and the state senate to pass. If it does pass, it goes to the governor's office for final approval.
Related Topics:
newsfresno countyimmigrationcaliforniapoliticsFresno County
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