SACRAMENTO, Sept. 16, 2017 – The California Senate today gave final approval to Senate Bill 54, the California Values Act, sending this closely-watched measure by Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) to Governor Brown for his signature. Once signed into law and enacted, SB 54 will prevent state and local law enforcement officers and resources from being commandeered by President Trump to enforce federal immigration laws.
“I introduced SB 54 to protect our state and local police from having to arrest honest, hardworking mothers, fathers and students instead of carrying out the duties that protects all of us,” said Senator de León. “Our undocumented neighbors will be able to interact with local law enforcement to report crimes and help in prosecutions without fear of deportation – and that will make our communities safer.”
The measure prohibits state and local law enforcement agencies, including school police and security departments, from using resources to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect, or arrest people for immigration enforcement purposes.
The bill also directs the state Attorney General to develop model policies to be implemented by public schools, libraries, hospitals, courthouses and other public facilities that would limit “to the fullest extent possible” assistance to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
The Senate’s vote came hours after the Assembly approved SB 54 by a vote of 49 to 25.
“Today, the Assembly voted to protect the safety and well-being of Californians – all Californians,” said Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego), Vice Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, who presented the bill on the Assembly floor. “Our state’s families, schools, workplaces and communities will be safer once SB 54 is enacted.”
The Legislature’s approval of SB 54 culminates weeks of negotiations between the Senator leader and Governor Jerry Brown and was a defeat for the California State Sheriff’s Association and the Trump administration who campaigned against the bill.
The measure has drawn national attention as California has presented a united front against the Trump administration’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and stepped up arrests of undocumented residents – especially those without criminal records.
In another setback for the Trump administration, approval of SB 54 comes after a federal judge granted a nationwide injunction in favor of an amicus brief former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder filed with the city of Chicago, on behalf of the California Senate. The ruling blocks Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ attempts to revoke federal grants from so-called sanctuary cities.
Amendments agreed upon by Senator de León and the Governor virtually assures it will be signed into law.
“I greatly appreciate the Governor’s engagement in SB 54’” said Senator de León. “The California Values Act continues to provide landmark protections for our undocumented community – a community so important to our economy and culture – and prevents our state and local police from being hijacked to tear families apart.
“In California, we celebrate diversity. We don’t ban it. We don’t deport it. We don’t wall it off.”