Is The Caravan Heading Towards California Because of SB 54
The state of California became a sanctuary state on January 1, 2018. The sanctuary state is designed to protect illegal immigrants from deportation by the federal government. The bill was meant to go against president Trumps tough stance on illegal immigration. However, this law has caused controversy among the federal government, and the citizens living in the state of California because of the nature of how SB 54 is written.
The reason SB 54 was signed into law is because the state of California has 2.7 million illegal immigrants living in the state. Other statistics put the figure at 2.3 million illegal immigrants. The politicians in California feared that discrimination and mass deportation will increase in the state. As a result, to protect these illegal immigrants from these fears SB 54 was made into law. However, citizens living in the state and across the nation do not see SB 54 as a sign of protecting against from discrimination, but obstruction of federal law. Under the constitution, the federal government enforces immigration law and not the states. SB 54 took away state resources and cooperation with federal agents to conduct immigration raids.
Currently, the state of California is being sued under the Trump Administration. The laws are SB 103, AB 450, and SB 54, which doesn’t allow state and local law enforcement to work with federal agencies to remove criminal aliens from jail, prisons, and ban communication with immigration authorities. Amazingly, cities and counties are joining the lawsuit with the federal government against the state of California. The counties that have joined in the suit is Orange County and San Diego County. Other counties are considering joining the lawsuit against SB 54.
Some argue SB 54 should stay on the books to protect immigrant communities. The fact that sanctuary city policy keeps families together, and work with local law enforcement if they see a crime in their neighborhood. However, evidence of this result is difficult to find. On the other hand, people argue this law only helps gangs and criminals stay in a community because state and local law enforcement won’t turn them over to ICE officials. As a result, this law increases crime within a community. Before SB 54, the Border and Customs, ICE, local, and state law enforcement work together to combat criminal aliens in the state of California.
This older system was safer for officers because the local law enforcement would arrest the individual and send him or her to jail and book him or her. While in the jail the person would be questioned about their immigration status. Once it is found the person is illegal then ICE would put a detainer for 48 hours to pick that individual for deportation. However, that process has changed because jails no longer question individuals about immigration status. The new system is ICE agents in the state of California have to go out and find illegal immigrants no matter if it is a criminal or civil illegal immigrant. As a result, ICE is stretching its resource thin because they do not receive any assistance from the state or local law enforcement because of SB 54.
In the end, SB 54 might be repealed from the book because of political presser from counties, cities, or the federal government lawsuit against the state. The hope is that once SB 54 is off the books local and state law enforcement can work with federal agencies to combat illegal immigration in the state of California. In the hope of ending crime in California communities across the state.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency.