Governor Brown Signs the CA Values Act (SB 54) into Law Despite Pushback from the Trump Administration

The California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations applauds Governor Brown’s signature for the California Values Act (SB 54). SB 54 was signed into law on Thursday, marking a momentous victory for immigrant and civil rights organizations. The bill, introduced by Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León, will prevent local law enforcement’s participation in federal immigration enforcement.

SB 54, which takes effect in January 2018, will prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies, school police, and security departments from investigating, detaining, detecting, reporting, or arresting persons for immigration enforcement purposes. It will also prohibit state agencies from collecting or sharing information from individuals unless necessary to perform agency duties. It will require California schools, libraries, hospitals, and courthouses to remain safe and accessible to all California residents, regardless of citizenship.

The Governor and California State Legislature was pressured from the Trump Administration and law enforcement groups prevent the bill from going forward. In response to a question on the Governor’s signature, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in Thursday’s press briefing, “The President will be laying out his responsible immigration plan over the next week. And I hope that California will push back on their governor’s, I think, irresponsible decision moving forward.” Last month, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the California Values Act “unconscionable” and a threat to public safety.

The Governor said in a signing statement, “These are uncertain times for undocumented Californians and their families, and this bill strikes a balance that will protect public safety, while bringing a measure of comfort to those families who are now living in fear every day.”

The California Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations advocated for the California Values Act at their 6th Annual Muslim Day at the Capitol where over 800 Muslims across California gathered in Sacramento to urge their legislators’ support.

“Immigrant communities have been living in fear from being targeted by the Trump administration’s deportation machine” says Yannina Casillas, CAIR California Legislative and Government Affairs Coordinator. “Disentangling local law enforcement from the duties of immigration officers will ultimately make our community safer.”