Take Two®

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

CA lawmakers have passed the 'sanctuary state' bill. Here's what it means

by Austin Cross and A Martínez | Take Two®

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Maya Casillas,7 (R), joins migrant rights groups during a vigil to protest against US President Donald Trump's new crackdown on "sanctuary cities", outside the City Hall in Los Angeles on January 25, 2017. Some 300 such cities, counties or states -- from New York to Los Angeles -- exist throughout the United States, and many of them have vowed since Trump's election to protect the estimated 11 million undocumented migrants living in the country. / AFP / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images) MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

A bill passed Saturday by lawmakers puts California on track to become the country's first so-called "sanctuary state."

The bill, which passed by a party-line vote, is now headed to the desk of Governor Jerry Brown, who is expected to sign it.

If signed into law, it would place limits on how law enforcement is allowed to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

Niels Frenzen, director of the Immigration Clinic at the USC Gould School of Law, explained to Take Two what will happen if the bill gets signed: 

  • There would be a statewide restriction on jails (typically run by sheriff's departments) from notifying Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) when certain immigrants who have been convicted or charged with minor criminal offenses are released from custody.
     
  • The law would prohibit the transfer of immigrants with minor criminal convictions directly from jail custody to ICE.

Frenzen offers an example: 

If someone was arrested ...  as a street vendor, failure to produce adequate identity documents during a traffic stop, or for jay-walking, those types of individuals, if booked into custody, would not be turned over to ICE, even if they were convicted, Frenzen said.

Frenzen added there is list of crimes that will NOT result in transfer to federal authorities and it was expanded at the request of Governor Brown before the legislature voted on the Sanctuary Law bill. But, regardless of this new law, undocumented people with felony convictions can be turned over to ICE, Frenzen said.

Press the blue play button above to hear more about what could happen if the "sanctuary state" bill is signed into law. 

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