SB-54 a formula for disaster — California a Sanctuary State

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By Richard Eber, California Political News and Views  

State Senate leader Pro Tem Kevin De Leon

State Senate leader Pro Tem Kevin De Leon is walking on water these days. His SB-54 bill that is working its way through committees would designate California a Sanctuary State. If enacted the legislation would preclude law enforcement on the City, State, and County levels from co-operating with federal law enforcement agencies to deport undocumented felons when they are released from detention.

In a nutshell, SB-54 protects some 12,000 dangerous people who few families want to have as their next door neighbors.  Rather than get rid of these felons, the bill would allow them to remain free, receive public assistance and in most cases continue to provide problems for local police forces.

Thus far De Leon is receiving high fives from the Liberal press and those within his own party. This was amplified at a recent speech he gave before the Contra Costa County Central Committee in Pleasant Hill. He received several standing ovations for his criticism of Donald Trump’s immigration policies and intended defiance towards the current Republican administration.

The charismatic De Leon, who is slated to become Lieutenant Governor in 2018, is not selling SB-54 as a vehicle to give a second chance to illegals who broke the law. Instead the Senator is utilizing the legislation to protect mothers, children, and families from “Big Brother” in Washington D.C.

While the title of his talk was the Measure to Protect Immigrants by Limiting State & Local Law Enforcement Work with ICE, De Leon’s presentation did not deal at all with the consequences of protecting the drug dealers, rapists, armed robbers and other deviates under SB-54.

Instead he preferred to tell the activist-progressive crowd:

  • We all know that there is a lot of angst, anxiety, and panic, especially among children, American born children, young boys and young girls who are standing at the curbside waiting and actually not knowing if their mother is going to pick them up or whether they will be detained or deported.
  • I’m under no illusion. I understand that immigration law and enforcement of immigration law falls under the exclusive domain-purview of the federal government. That’s Homeland Security and ICE. I know and understand that. It’s the law of the land.  But I also know that we as a state local government don’t have to lift a finger or spend a dime to separate children from their mothers.
  • To actually use local tax dollars, state dollars to enforce immigration laws to be a cog in the Trump deportation regime- that is not who we are. Because the last thing we want is to have local police officers abandon their duty to help set a perimeter around a elementary school waiting for mothers to pick up their children

Nowhere in De Leon’s speech was there any mention of how protecting 12,000 felons from being aggressively deported might serve to protect public safety. He also did not discuss what to do with 24 suspects arrested last week in a raid on the operations of the Mexican Drug Cartel in Contra Costa County. Were SB-54 to pass, illegals would be shielded from ICE and become the problem of California taxpayers.

Kate Steinle, who was murdered last year at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf by an undocumented several times convicted felon, was not discussed during Senator De Leon’s remarks.  Instead the audience heard “When local law enforcement officers are pulled from their duties to enforce local immigration laws and arrest otherwise law-abiding maids, bus boys, and day laborers, our communities will become more not less dangerous.”

These same bait and switch tactics could be found throughout his presentation where Draconian scenarios included Women with tumors being cruelly deported by ICE agents who have no regard for human suffering. The contents of SB-54 were never actually mentioned.

Scenarios were given to justify passing legislation that did not even concern whether to co-operate with ICE to get rid of the worst criminal element from the State. Among topics omitted by De Leon:

1, the tax dollars that would be lost housing undocumented felons currently being incarcerated in California jails and prisons that the Federal Government is currently paying.

2. Subsidies given primarily to County Sheriff Departments that would be lost if SB-54 is enacted.

3. The cost to local communities dealing with tracking undocumented parolees, not to mention providing them social services to assimilate back into society. This does not include their families, which in many cases would require governmental services before and after jail time is served.

4. If SB-54 is passed and ICE is left to its own devices to apprehend dangerous criminals in local communities, it is likely many of the hard-working immigrant families Senator De Leon is trying to protect might become collateral damage in this process and become victims themselves

Rather than look into these ramifications, De Leon and his Democratic Party supporters want to push Sanctuary City ordinances wherever they can even though almost all cities turn those they arrest over to the county to process and thus have no contact with ICE.  Law enforcement policies apply to citizens and non-citizens they bust, so why use resources to solve a problem that does not exist?

As such, it is doubtful that local governments or their citizens want to give special consideration to undocumented residents who commit serious crimes in order to appease Sanctuary City advocates?

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB54

Things have gotten so crazy that we now have proposals for Sanctuary Schools from grade school to the University of California campuses where, their administrations don’t want to cooperate with the Federal Government because of their compassion for undocumented immigrants.  One wonders if these educators will retain their idealism should federal school funds be cut to them for such defiance.

The same thinking applies to cities which are constantly trying to receive matching funds from the federal government on everything from parks, to roads, and sewer projects, to name a few.  No one knows if the vilified Trump administration is going to cherry pick grants to non-sanctuary cities during the next four years. Given what is at stake, do most cities want to find out?

Is it responsible for local governments who don’t concern themselves with foreign policy or dealing with the political goings on in Washington D.C. to get involved with matters beyond their control, such as immigration policy?

This is why the public should take a hard look at SB-54 and see if they really want this legislation, which is likely to be declared unconstitutional should it be passed.  Is this another thing that the State of California, with their continuous battle to properly educate children, provide enough water for residents, fix roads, balance the budget, and reduce pension liabilities, actually wants to deal with?

The answer is emphatically “no,” but unfortunately there aren’t too many loud voices in the Golden State to tell the sponsors of legislation such as SB-54 to take a hike.

Richard Eber studied journalism at the University of Oregon. He writes about politics, culture, education restaurants, and was former city and sports editor of UCSB Daily. Richard is president of Amerasa Rapid Transit, a specialized freight forwarder.


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Vera Taylor
Vera Taylor
3 years ago

Please definite what you call a “Crime”.. We have Laws that WE should respect.. and demand others to respect them… When you have someone to come from a totally different country and do not respect what you have ALREADY SET IN PLACE…. BUYER BE WARE… (WHICH LAW/S WILL THEY DISRESPECT NEXT) THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING…WHAT WRONG WITH FOLLOWING THE RULES OF THE LAND? DUE PROCESS GET IN LINE AND FOLLOW THE RULES… We are not responsible for breaking up their families… they do that themselves when they decide to enter into the country illegally that’s one of the consequences… Have you ever experience in your neighborhood (YOU ARE an American Citizen) because you are not one of them they trash your home, harass and badger you until you have to move for your family safety? Have you ever walked into an American Establishment on AMERICAN SOIL and felt totally out of place because you did not understand a word they were speaking…Their intentions aren’t as innocent as you may think…. Try living in my neighborhood… If you did I am sure you will have a difference perspective “IT’S CALLED A HOSTILE TAKE OVER BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY AND A FORM OF SEGREGATION”

Sharon Minsuk
Sharon Minsuk
3 years ago

Here is the text of the law. Read it yourself. Felons are specifically, explicitly, excluded from any protection, contrary to the claims of this article.

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB54

Mr. Eber is lying to you.

huh?
huh?
3 years ago
Reply to  Sharon Minsuk

There are many reasons to disallow illegal aliens continued “sanctuary” within our State. Pressure their home countries to care for them, not us.

Citlali B.
Citlali B.
3 years ago

Undocumented immigrants is a vulnerable population that is being criminalized, living in fear, and families are being separated and children put into foster care. SB 54 will create safe zones throughout the states. We shall combat the stigma associated with immigrants and educate the public. We shall raise awareness regarding the stigmatized by debunking all the myths that further ostracize families, individuals and groups. Ultimately, unless you are native american descendent, we are all immigrants or once were…

flax
flax
3 years ago
Reply to  Citlali B.

85% of us were born here so you can save your ‘we all all immigrants’ BS.

News flash, undocumented aka illegal immigrants should live in fear since they broke the law.

Finally, if I break the law guess what, I get separated from my family.

Art Hurtado
Art Hurtado
3 years ago

What people don’t seem to understand is that SB54 focuses on letting ICE and local law enforcement do their jobs separately. Local tax dollars should NOT be used for immigration enforcement, we have much better things to spend our local dollars on. In terms of “dangerous criminals”, first, keep in mind that dangerous criminals are not confined to one group. In fact, we can find them across all races, religions, immigrations statuses, etc.

Under SB54, people who commit crimes aren’t given a free pass. Local law enforcement and the local criminal justice system will still have their say as to how people will be charged, convicted, incarcerated, etc.

I don’t want my local police department wasting their time with immigration enforcement and neither should you. They should be focused on real criminal activity and there are already local and state systems in place to do that.

Our local tax dollars should NOT be used for Trump’s Mass Deportation Agenda.

flax
flax
3 years ago
Reply to  Art Hurtado

Please explain the benefits of keeping other countries criminals here.

Go on, explain.

Jerry Besoain
Jerry Besoain
3 years ago

De Leon’s SB-54 is a disaster waiting to happen! If passed, once law enforcement is told to not enforce constitutional law and the protections associated with enforcement, we the people will be forced to defend ourselves. Any morons who actually think this bill will create protection for an unwanted population of criminals are incredibly ignorant. Neighborhoods and communities will create their own vigilante justice to handle the crime and chaos that law enforcement agencies should be handling. Political correctness is a mental disorder and the lack of common sense that fuels it can only lead to violence and chaos throughout our state and country. De León and Any elected officials who support this unlawful legislation should be removed from office for violating their oath of office, and prosecuted for any crimes committed.