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California Senate Republican Leader Responds to Legislature's Approval of "Sanctuary State" Bill

California Senate Republican Leader Responds to Legislature's Approval of

The legislation is the latest effort by Democratic lawmakers in California, home to an estimated 2.3 million immigrants without legal authorization, to create barriers to President Donald Trump's campaign pledge to step up deportation efforts.

The changes allowed state and local law enforcement to communicate with federal immigration authorities if a person has been convicted of certain crimes.

In arguing against the measure, Republicans in the Assembly invoked the 2015 shooting of Kate Steinle by an undocumented immigrant in San Francisco, arguing that sanctuary protections make communities less safe.

The Assembly's 49-25 vote sets up a vote in the Senate later Friday.

California's immigration laws are considered among the friendliest in the country and the state is often referred to as a "sanctuary state". Jerry Brown's desk doesn't go as far as the first version.

"Given their limited resources, I agree that state and local law enforcement should not be doing the jobs of federal immigration agents", said Bates.

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Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, introduced SB54 shortly after Trump's election to cut off most interactions between federal immigration agents and local police and sheriff's officers.

After talks with Brown, amendments to the bill made this week would allow federal immigration authorities to keep working with state corrections officials and to continue entering county jails to question immigrants.

California police chiefs dropped their opposition but sheriffs, who run jails where the biggest impacts will be felt, remain opposed.

But the law has backers too: San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who simply called it "a reasonable streamlining bill", and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff, who said in August, "We need to plan and prepare for accommodating diverse populations and more dense development in our existing footprint". One lawmaker said the bill would cause "chaos". "This is a measure that reflects the values of who we are as a great state".

"Our overarching concern remains that limiting local law enforcement's ability to communicate and cooperate with federal law enforcement officers endangers public safety", the group said in the release.

Democrats argued that the bill would heighten public safety by building trust between undocumented immigrants and police, encouraging crime victims to come forward.