CA Fwd statement on passage of legislative housing "package"

California is poised to become a so-called "sanctuary state" after its legislature passed a bill Saturday that would establish new protections for people who are in the country illegally and send a clear signal of defiance against the Trump administration's tough approach to immigration enforcement.

Under the law, state and local law enforcement officers will not be permitted to ask about a person's immigration status during an arrest or police stop, and their communication with federal immigration authorities will be limited.

State legislators approved a measure early Saturday morning that would make California a sanctuary state.

The organization put out a release earlier this week, saying that "California's front-line law enforcement officers do not now engage in, and have no intention of engaging in, immigration enforcement in the field".

But amendments added this week would permit officers to continue sharing information and transferring people for immigration authorities if they have convictions for one or more of roughly 800 crimes.

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Gov. Jerry Brown, who negotiated a watered-down final version of the bill, is expected to sign it into law.

"This comes as a relief that there are some legislators that are really listening", said Pablo Alvarado, executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.

The original proposal by Democratic state senator Kevin De Leon would have also prohibited state and local police from reporting undocumented immigrants to federal authorities unless they had committed violent or serious crimes. The compromise helped shift the Police Chiefs Association's stance to "neutral".

In an emotional debate that brought lawmakers on both sides to tears, supporters said the law is needed now more than ever. A San Francisco judge blocked the order. Under the additions to the bill, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation would have to develop new standards to protect people held on immigration violations, and to allow immigrant inmates to receive credits toward their sentences serviced if they undergo rehabilitation and educational programs while incarcerated. Several bills attempt to streamline local housing approvals in different ways-and for the first time connect state production goals with local mechanisms for accelerating housing construction.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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