No on ‘Sanctuary State’ Senate Bill 54
First let me make my position clear on a few things when it comes to immigration. I firmly believe that our Dreamers should be protected and offered the quickest possible path towards American citizenship. They did not come here on their own and in most cases know no other country than America. It is their home.
I am also a firm believer that in most cases that separating families when they are split between undocumented immigrants and American citizens is inhumane and there needs to be a way to make these families whole in the country that they now call home, many for decades.
When it comes to immigrants and refugees I still believe in the symbolism of the Statue of Liberty and take its inscription to heart. I would not be here if my ancestors had not immigrated here before colonization.
I understand the fear that is overbearing many in the U.S. when it comes to President Donald Trump’s strong stance against illegal immigrants, but California becoming a “Sanctuary State” is not the right way to go. SB54 is flawed in many ways and if it passes through it is my hope that Gov. Jerry Brown will veto this bill, as it written now will cause more damage than good. The 2013 Trust Act protects dreamers and nonviolent illegal immigrants that just want a better life than this bill will ever do. In my opinion, it will result in more Dreamers and undocumented immigrants that have done nothing wrong with the exception of seeking a better life at a higher risk of deportation.
I firmly believe that our local law enforcement has better things to do than to go chasing undocumented immigrants and allowing the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to be within our criminal system to weed out the violent criminals is fine with me. We have enough homegrown criminals that are consistently released back into our communities to add more. And if the undocumented cannot live in America without committing violent crimes, then they do not deserve to live here. And if ICE has the access to known undocumented criminals, then there is no time to go out searching for those who have committed no violent crimes.
In looking at SB54 it is a reactionary and I believe a rebellious bill mainly used to prove a point to an administration it does not like. But it is ill conceived and protects undocumented criminals and puts our Dreamers and other undocumented and mixed families at risk. It is also fiscally irresponsible to allow California citizens to pay federal taxes that pay for immigration enforcement and then have to turn around and pay California taxes to make up the significant amount of money if Trump does what he promises and cuts off federal funding to sanctuary cities and states. And as his record shows so far, I believe he would do so without a second thought, whether it is right or wrong for this country.
Although in going through this bill, the penal codes is the most difficult to understand, it is apparent to me (and feel free to prove me wrong) that this bill leaves out so many violent crimes that it protects undocumented criminals, jeopardizes our communities and endangers our Dreamers, undocumented families and migrant workers. These people deserve our protection, but SB54 does not offer that at all in its current language.