The bill, which was passed in the senate by a 27-11 margin and cleared the assembly 51-26, limits the ways state and local law enforcement agencies can cooperate and communicate with federal immigration officers.
"I think this has been an historic year for all of our accomplishments", said Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) just after 2 a.m. on Saturday. The bill also prohibits police and sheriff officers from inquiring about a person's immigration status. The legislation would also permit police and sheriffs to share information and transfer people to immigration authorities if they have been convicted of one or more crimes from a list of 800 outlined in a previous law, the California Trust Act. For them, the bill delivers a rare victory during Trump's presidency, preserving some protections for people in the country illegally and adding others.
Democratic Senator Mike McGuire, who co-authored the bill, said in a statement that SB 149 restores necessary transparency to presidential elections. "The only thing this bill provides a sanctuary for is unsafe criminals", said Assemblyman James Gallagher, a Republican from Nicolaus.
"In my view this bill's going to make us less safe", said Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham, R-Templeton.More news: Explosion on London underground train, passengers suffer facial burns
"It's a purposeful positioning", said political analyst Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a senior fellow at the University of Southern California.
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". Immigration and Customs Enforcement disclosed that two weeks ago, before 18-year-old Erick Garcia-Pineda was a murder suspect, the San Francisco Sheriff's Department denied a request to hold him until federal authorities could take him into custody for deportation proceedings. They've passed legislation and filed lawsuits aimed at protecting immigrants, combating climate change and blocking any future attempt to build a registry of Muslims.
The bill's approval comes less than a day after a federal judge blocked the Trump administration's rules requiring cities to help enforce federal immigration laws in order to receive funding.