California bill protecting immigrants closer to approval

President Donald Trump did not release his tax returns during the 2016 presidential campaign

President Donald Trump did not release his tax returns during the 2016 presidential campaign

The bill forbids local and state law enforcement officers from carrying out practices such as asking about someone's immigration status, handing a person over to federal immigration authorities if there's no warrant or establishment of probable cause and disclosing personal information about someone if it isn't already public information, according to the most recent bill analysis.

California lawmakers wrapped up their work for the year early Saturday morning, with sweeping new legislation to address issues from illegal immigration to the state's housing crunch - and hundreds of bills being debated and decided in just the final 48 hours.

There was no spoken opposition as the Assembly agreed with Senate restrictions on a 41-25 vote.

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Senate Bill 54 will place limitations on how state and local law enforcement officials can communicate and coordinate with federal immigration authorities. "With SB 54, California will meaningfully improve state law to keep families together and communities whole-and not a moment too soon as the Trump administration continues its draconian and indiscriminate crackdown on immigrants". Attorney General Jeff Sessions has threatened to withhold certain federal grants from jurisdictions that refuse to honor immigration detention requests or give ICE agents access to local jails.

Donald Trump promised during his presidential campaign to crack down on undocumented immigrants and to launch an extensive deportation program.

Shortly after Trump won election last fall, de León's staff invited several immigration lawyers to join a conference call and asked them to bring ideas that were considered politically infeasible under the Obama administration back to the table in California.

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California Senate leader Kevin de Leon said the bill will prevent local police from becoming "cogs in the Trump deportation machine".

But immigrant rights groups did not withdraw their support for the bill and also won some concessions.

Republicans in the California Legislature remained opposed to the measure on Friday, saying it would tie the hands of law enforcement and compromise public safety.

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"We hope that it will serve as a model for other states and encourage them to adopt similar protections", said Jenny Pasquarella, immigrant rights director for the American Civil Liberties Union of California.

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