Local immigrant groups praise Brown’s signing of SB 54

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IECN Photo/Anthony Victoria: Immigrant rights groups holding signs during a protest in front of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Station in downtown San Bernardino on July 28, 2017. The groups say Sheriff John McMahon failed to meet requests for meetings to discuss his opposition to the California Values Act (Senate Bill 54)

Members of the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice praised Governor Jerry Brown, Senate Pro Tem Kevin De Leon, and other lawmakers for supporting Senate Bill 54.

ICIJ claims the new law will prevent civil rights violations, safeguard local resources, and improve confidence in law enforcement.

“In the Inland Empire region, law enforcement agencies have a dark history with respect to its relationship with the immigrant community,” said Julio Marroquin, Executive Director of Centro del Inmigrante. “From calling ICE to serve as interpreters to attempting to deport U.S. Citizens. SB 54 will give our communities the protection we need to slow down Trump’s deportation machine.”

Brown signed Senate Bill 54–the California Values Act–into law Thursday, officially making California a ‘sanctuary’ state.

“These are uncertain times for undocumented Californians and their families, and this bill strikes a balance that will protect public safety, while bringing a measure of comfort to those families who are now living in fear everyday,” Brown said in a statement.

The new law will vastly limit state and local law enforcement agencies from using manpower or funds to hold, question and share information about immigrants with federal immigration agents.

Immigrants that have been convicted of one or more offenses dealing with serious violent felonies or sex crimes will be subject to detention or deportation.

De Leon (D-Los Angeles) spoke to dozens of immigrant rights supporters at the Academia Avance charter school in Los Angeles–assuring them that state Democratic leaders will do everything in their ability to resist what he claims is a “xenophobic” agenda from the Trump administration.

“We will do everything in our power to prevent families from being torn apart to feed [President Trump’s] base,” the bill’s author Senate Pro Tem Kevin De Leon said to dozens of immigrant rights supporters during a broadcasted press conference in Los Angeles. “California is constructing a wall, but a wall of justice.”

In July and August, ICIJ and other groups held protests and rallies criticizing San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon for his department’s collaboration with ICE.

McMahon expressed his opposition to SB 54 in a YouTube interview in February. He believes the legislation–along with other restrictions–will result in the release of proven criminals, putting citizens at risk.

“Those that are wanted by ICE, detained in our facilities, are dangerous criminals,” said McMahon. “It’s much safer for everybody involved if we could hand off that inmate to the custody of ICE, and they could continue through that process.”


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