The California Sanctuary State bill (known as SB-54) has taken a crucial step in becoming law.
The Assembly Judiciary Committee approved SB-54 on Wednesday along party lines with eight Democrats voting for the measure, and three Republicans opposed to it. Senate President Kevin de Leon, the author of the bill, sparred with Republican Kevin Kiley saying that the Republican lawmaker was only fronting for the cameras and talk radio.
"Let's get down to the essence of the measure itself. If you want a highlight for Fox News, or Ken and John, or whoever you're playing to right now, don't waste my time, don't waste the chair's time, don't waste the audience's time, don't waste the members' time."
Supporters of the bill packed the hearing room, with an overflow of people in a long line that went out the door. They say the bill would help undocumented immigrants know that their local law enforcement would not be acting as immigration agents.
The bill is strongly supported by Democrat lawmakers, but Republicans say public safety would be at risk and would make it tougher for law enforcement leaders to do their job.
Under the bill, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents would be prevented from entering county jails without a warrant. It would also expand the "sanctuary city" policies that shelter immigrants from President Trump's crackdown on illegal immigration. Local law enforcement would be prohibited from acting as federal immigration officers.
The bill still needs to pass through the Assembly Appropriations Committee before it gets to the Assembly floor. The state Senate has already passed the bill.