In defiance of federal law and with callous disregard for its residents, the California Assembly continues to protect criminal aliens. Led by Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, A.B 1081 passed Thursday by a 43-32 vote and would allow two Bay Area counties, San Francisco and Santa Clara and possibly many others to opt out of the Secure Communities program, a concept developed by the Obama administration as part of its immigration enforcement strategy (such as it is). The Department of Homeland Security endorses Secure Communities, the program that authorizes the fingerprints of anyone booked into a county jail to be automatically cross-checked against immigration databases. If a person is determined to be an illegal alien, local authorities hand them over to ICE officials for possible deportation. Under Ammiano’s bill, counties would be given the option of renegotiating terms on an individual basis with DHS. Secretary Napolitano has expressly stated that such revisions would not be allowed. [Immigration Opt-Out OK-d by Assembly, by Marisa Largos, San Francisco Chronicle, May 27, 2011] In Los Angeles, City Councilman Bernard C. Parks supported Ammiano. Parks offered a curious defense. According to Parks, the former Los Angeles police chief, the program directly contradicts the intent of Special Order 40, a more than 30-year-old criminal aiding and abetting policy that prohibits Los Angeles police from initiating contact with individuals for the sole purpose of determining whether they are in the country illegally. Adding to the urgency of enforcing Secure Communities, San Francisco and Los Angeles are sanctuary cities with extensive histories of violent crime perpetrated by illegal aliens against innocent individuals. Note for example the case of Tony Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16, who in June 2008 were shot to death in San Francisco. The alleged gunman, Edwin Ramos, is an illegal alien and despite being convicted of two felonies as a juvenile, San Francisco officials didn’t turn him over to immigration officials. Secure Communities would have discovered Ramos’ immigration status and detained him immediately. A.B. 1081 now heads to the Senate for further debate. If it passes, highly likely, it will go to Governor Jerry Brown for his final signature. Brown has not spoken publicly about the bill. Whether Napolitano sticks to her position that no exceptions will be tolerated remains to be seen. To understand Secure Communities’ value, consider that between May 2009 and March 2011 it initiated 38,828 deportations from California. According to ICE statistics, about 12,000 had been charged with or convicted of major violent offenses while nearly 11,000 were classified as non-criminal deportees. Criminals or not, California is better off without them.