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.