Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León is the author of Senate Bill 54, which would prohibit state and local law enforcement from putting their resources into immigration enforcement. Photo: Randy Pench
January 31, 2017
With three weeks left until the bill introduction deadline, most of the policy agenda this legislative session has yet to be determined, let alone scheduled for a committee hearing. But amid the outcry over a string of executive orders issued last week by President Donald Trump, the state Senate has put a handful of measures onto the fast track.
Senate Bill 54, which prohibits state and local law enforcement from using their resources to investigate, arrest or detain suspects for immigration enforcement purposes, will get its first hearing in the Senate Public Safety Committee, 9:30 a.m. in Room 4203 of the Capitol. The proposal builds on a 2013 law that outlawed holding undocumented immigrants for federal authorities.
Supporters of the bill, including the California Immigrant Policy Center and state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. outside Room 437 to discuss its importance.
Then the Senate Judiciary Committee, which meets at 1:30 p.m. in Room 112, will take up Senate Bill 6, a measure establishing legal aid for immigrants that has an urgency provision to take effect immediately. The committee will also consider Senate Bill 31, forbidding state and local agencies from providing personally identifiable information about an individual’s religious beliefs to the federal government.
Since Trump’s election in November, California politicians have voiced concerns about – and promised to defy – his campaign promise to deport millions of criminal undocumented immigrants and suggestions that he might establish a national registry of Muslims.
That rancor was stoked again last week when Trump signed a set of executive orders to withhold federal funding from “sanctuary cities” that protect undocumented immigrants, begin construction on a new border wall with Mexico, and temporarily banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries. The latter provoked a weekend of protests at airports across the country.