California’s Sanctuary State Bill: Gov. Brown v. Attorney General Sessions

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

August 9, 2017
Gov Jerry Brown
Brown supports California lawsuit against DOJ; wants sanctuary city
federal funding to continue.

On Sunday’s Meet the Press, Governor Jerry Brown told NBC host Chuck Todd that he wants more amendments added to California’s SB 54, the sanctuary state bill that would bar state and local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration officials. Brown didn’t offer specific examples of his desired amendments’ nature, but it’s safe to conclude that they would impose greater restrictions on Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Brown did tell Todd, however, that he supports California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s idea to sue the Department of Justice on the possible constitutional violation of withholding Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants from California’s sanctuary cities, $18 million in 2017. Brown denied that SB 54 provides sanctuary, and said the he wants to protect California’s illegal immigrants from “abuse of federal power.” Watch the interview here.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Jeff Sessions put four sanctuary cities on notice including two from California. The four are California’s San Bernardino and Stockton as well as Baltimore and Albuquerque.

General Sessions announced new qualifying guidelines that cities would have to prove they comply with to receive federal grant money. Local governments must agree that they will notify the Department of Homeland Security at least 48 hours before releasing inmates from local jails when DHS has asked for advance notification, and must also allow DHS agents to enter local jails and interview inmates suspected of being in the country illegally.

The California Assembly is on summer break until August 21. Time is short. Take action now to block SB 54. Go to the CAPS Action Alert page here to tell your Assemblyman to reject SB 54, and to instead make the state a sanctuary for its citizens and legal permanent residents. Watch the CAPS TV ad here, and read the accompanying press release here.

Californians and non-Californians can also sign a petition here that will be delivered to the U.S. Senate and urge it to pass HR 3003, the “No Sanctuary for Criminals Act” that the House approved earlier this summer. 
 
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