02:00 GMT +320 September 2019
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    California May Become Sanctuary State to Fight Trump’s Immigration Policy

    © AFP 2019 / MARK RALSTON
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    California is introducing legislation to become a “sanctuary state” enabling the Golden State to prohibit its law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration authorities seeking to implement President Donald Trump’s new stricter policies for those who enter the nation without documentation.

    The first public hearing on the issue was scheduled for Thursday, as Senate Democrats sought ways to protect undocumented immigrants from facing consequences.

    The Judiciary Committee is slated to consider fast-tracking legislation to use taxpayer money to provide lawyers for undocumented immigrants who are facing deportation.

    Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Francisco have policies in place that allow police to circumvent federal immigration officials, but lawmakers are seeking to extend the resistance to federal law throughout the entire state.

    The legislation, SB54, was drafted by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, in response to Trump’s order to withhold federal grant money from sanctuary cities.

    During Trump’s campaign, as well as during his nomination acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, the President cited the case of Kate Steinle, 32, who was shot in the back in 2015 by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an undocumented immigrant who had been deported to Mexico five times, but was protected by California’s sanctuary cities.

    After the man’s arrest by law enforcement in San Francisco, he claimed he shot Steinle by accident with a stolen gun while attempting to shoot sea lions. His trial is scheduled to begin in February.

    Months before the killing, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement had requested that Sanchez be held in custody by the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department so they could pick him up for deportation. The sanctuary city did not comply with the request and released him.

    Trump has repeatedly asserted that it is a state’s job to use all available resources to protect its citizens first, as opposed to protecting undocumented immigrants.

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    Tags:
    Sanctuary State, Sanctuary Cities, Deportation, Immigration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Donald Trump, San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles, California
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