California Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday, Oct. 5, signed a bill that will limit the interactions that police and sheriff’s departments in the state are able to have with federal immigration authorities.
Senate Bill 54, the “sanctuary state” bill, was one of a total of 11 bills that Brown signed into law Thursday with the intention of protecting California’s undocumented immigrant communities. The other bills dealt with workplace, housing, school and civil protections for immigrants.
SB 54 prevents local and state law enforcement officers from being deputized as immigration agents, from inquiring about a person’s immigration status during routine interactions and from transferring immigrant inmates to the custody of federal immigration authorities unless they’ve committed certain dangerous or violent crimes.
Brown issued an accompanying statement praising SB-54 when the bill was signed.
“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 every day,” part of the statement reads.
Brown noted in his statement that the bill does not prevent immigration agents from enforcing federal immigration law in the state, does not deny them access to California’s jails for interviews and does not stop deportation proceedings for inmates in California’s state prisons who have committed serious crimes as outlined in the TRUST Act, which was approved by the governor in 2013.
Here is a list of the other bills that Brown signed into law and what they do:
Assembly Bill 21 – Introduced by Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), this bill asks state universities and places of higher education to refrain from providing personal information about their students, faculty, and staff except in certain circumstances. It also asks that those places have plans in place if federal immigration authorities want to come on campus or talk to students.
Assembly Bill 291 – Introduced by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco), this bill prohibits a landlord from threatening to report a tenant’s immigration status to authorities.
Assembly Bill 299 – Introduced by Assemblymember Ian C. Calderon (D-Whittier), this bill prohibits a public agency from compelling landlords to provide immigration information about their tenants or compelling those landlords to act on a tenant’s immigration status.
Assembly Bill 343 – Introduced by Assemblymember Kevin McCartey (D-Sacramento), this bill makes it so that students who have special immigrant visa status because they are refugees can pay in state tuition instead of nonresident tuition until they are considered residents.
Assembly Bill 450 – Another bill introduced by Chiu. It prohibits employers from allowing immigration agents to look at employee records without a court order. When inspection of employee records does take place, employers are supposed to notify employees within 72 hours.
Assembly Bill 699 – Introduced by Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach), this bill prevents school districts, county offices of education and charter schools from collecting information or documents about a student’s immigration status unless it’s required by state or federal law for a state- or federally-supported educational program. It also requires that the state attorney general come up with “model policies” by April 1, 2018 that would limit how public schools assist in immigration enforcement.
Senate Bill 29 – Introduced by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), this bill prevents any city, county or law enforcement agency from entering into a contract for any new detention centers to hold immigrants in custody.
Senate Bill 68 – Also introduced by Lara, this bill expands the ways in which an immigrant could get in state tuition status for higher education. Originally, the person could qualify by spending three years in a California High School, but the bill makes it so that three years spent in community college or adult classes or a combination of those things could also qualify someone.
Senate Bill 156 – Introduced by Senator Joel Anderson (R-Alpine), this bill would require the California National Guard to inform its members that it will assist non-citizens to become naturalized as soon as they are eligible. It also requires the California National Guard to help non-citizens fill out all the proper paperwork they need upon request.
Senate Bill 257 – Introduced by Senator Ricardo Lara, it allows students to continue to attend the school in the district in which they were enrolled if their parents are deported and they end up living outside that district.