California’s Senate Just Approved a Bill to Protect Its Residents From Trump’s Deportation Forces

Two weeks ago, Esperanza, a mother of two young children, was driving to church in Mendota, California, when local police pulled her over for having tinted windows. The officer issued Esperanza a fix-it ticket for the tinted windows and told her that Immigration and Customs Enforcement would be showing up at her home. Within 30 minutes, ICE officers were at Esperanza’s door to arrest and deport her.

Esperanza is now in hiding.

Although alarming, Esperanza’s experience is commonplace in California and across the country. Approximately 70 percent of all deportations nationwide are the result of local law enforcement’s participation in federal immigration enforcement activities. This is where Trump’s deportation dragnet lies — in the arrests, hand-offs, and information-sharing between local law enforcement and federal immigration agents. The administration needs local law enforcement as its “force multipliers.” Without their assistance, the Trump administration cannot dramatically increase deportations.

States and localities can reject the Trump administration’s reckless and inhumane deportation agenda.

This is why the Trump administration is so aggressively trying to bully local law enforcement to participate in deportations. Just this past week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he would withhold federal funding to agencies that do not cooperate with ICE’s detainers, even though courts have held that compliance with ICE detainers violates the Constitution. And, in a failed effort to spark fear and outrage, the administration released information about numbers of ICE detainer requests declined by local police, but the information was so misleading and erroneous it earned the ire of even California’s most ICE-friendly sheriff.

President Trump has already unleashed his immigration agents to troll areas of public life previously considered off-limits for immigration enforcement, including areas around schools, hospitals, and places of worship. Survivors of violent and physical assault are dropping their cases for fear that testifying in court will expose them to deportation. Educators report that school attendance is dropping, and health clinics report that immigrants are removing themselves from California health-care programs. This past week, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly unapologetically told California’s chief justice that ICE would continue to arrest immigrants in California’s courtrooms.

States and localities can reject the Trump administration’s reckless and inhumane deportation agenda by ensuring that its police forces and basic public services will not be used to facilitate deportations. And California’s state senate just approved legislation that will do just that. The California Values Act will establish statewide standards to ensure that state and local resources are not used to deport thousands of Californians who belong here with their families and whose removal only serves to harm the children, families, and communities left behind.

The California Values Act would ensure that California residents have equal access to vital public services, including police, hospitals, schools, and courthouses, regardless of national origin and immigration status. With an unregulated, unbridled Trump deportation force, Californians now more than ever need the protection of California law.

In Esperanza’s case, the bill would have prevented police from calling ICE after they conducted a traffic stop, and it would have meant the difference between raising her children and facing permanent separation from them.

Esperanza’s story will be replicated thousands of times across the nation unless California, other states, and local communities step in to say no to using its state and local resources to aid deportation efforts.

Help us make sure California steps up

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Michael

State are not obligated to enforce federal laws, nor can Congress mandate that states enact specific laws.

Anonymous

Fine. Then states that have to follow federal laws under Roe V. Wade.

Anonymous

*DONT*

Anonymous

Hey Anonymous, the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade was made on the basis of the Constitution (specifically the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment).

Winky

Anonymous- you missed the point (and the boat). People in states are required to *abide* by Federal law. But, State law enforcement is not compelled to *enforce* Federal law. So, your Roe V Wade comment is stupid.

Polly

Genuinely pretty stupid.

Another Michael

States often institute and enforce laws established by the federal government because of financial incentive. Such as speed limits and drinking ages laws that are governed at state level but follow federal standard to avoid withholding of federal money. Same principal here they can choose to not cooperate but they need to except there are consequences.

Anonymous

Not true. I am amazed at how hateful you losers are. California gets it. These people are entitled to protection under our constitution. Why would you think it's OK to take a mother away from her children.?

Anonymous

Sounds like California is not a law abiding place. Illegal = not legal.

Ron

Wrong. The U.S. Constitution expressly does not allow the Federal gov't to require or coerce local or state government to enforce Federal Law. In fact, this observes the law of the land.

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