IMMIGRATION/POLITICS/SANCTUARY CITIES: “With the federal government vastly expanding who is considered a priority for deportation, the California State Senate approved a bill last week that increased protections for immigrants. The measure prohibits local law enforcement agencies from using resources to investigate, detain, report or arrest people for immigration violations.
Supporters say the law — essentially making California the country’s first ‘sanctuary state’ — would prevent immigrants like the woman in Mendota, who faced no criminal charges, from being turned over for deportation. If approved, the law could directly contradict federal directives, putting local law enforcement agencies in the difficult position of deciding whether to obey Sacramento or Washington. Legal battles are considered likely.
‘The federal government is going to have to step in and decide if this is worth a lawsuit, because I am not sure what we can do,’ said Donny Youngblood, the sheriff in Kern County and the president of the California State Sheriffs’ Association, which is lobbying against the measure. ‘All we are doing is providing information to the federal government so that they can do their job. To restrict that doesn’t make sense.’
While California is moving more decisively and quickly than any other state, bills that restrict cooperation with immigration officials have been introduced in several legislatures throughout the country, including in Illinois, Maryland, Nevada and New York.”

-Jennifer Medina and Jess Bidgood, “California Moves to Become ‘Sanctuary State,’ and Others Look to Follow,” The Los Angeles Times online, April 10, 2017