Lawmakers reached a deal on the proposal after resistance from law enforcement officials and Gov.
The California Values Act would forbid state and local law enforcement agencies from providing information to or acting as the deputies for federal immigration authorities.
But the law has backers too: San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who simply called it "a reasonable streamlining bill", and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff, who said in August, "We need to plan and prepare for accommodating diverse populations and more dense development in our existing footprint". It was the latest effort by Democratic lawmakers in California to create barriers for President Donald Trump's campaign pledge to step up deportation efforts.
"Californians will not squander precious public safety dollars to tear families apart, take "Dreamers" or deport people who have helped California become the sixth largest economy in the world", de León said. Negotiations between Brown and the Senate leader resulted in a final version that largely aligns with California's Trust Act, an anti-deportation law that limits the ability of local police to detain individuals on immigration holds. It would also prohibit local officers from inquiring about someone's immigration status.
Even after the negotiations, the bill is the most ambitious of its kind; in 1987 OR passed a law barring state and local officers from detaining anyone exclusively on immigration charges, and state lawmakers have proposed strengthening that law this year with amendments similar to the measures introduced in California.
Police and sheriff's officials, including jail officers, will still be able to work with federal immigration authorities if a person has been convicted of one of some 800 crimes, mostly felonies and misdemeanors that can be charged as felonies. The California Sheriffs' Association continues to oppose it. "The only thing this bill provides a sanctuary for is unsafe criminals", said Assemblyman James Gallagher, a Republican from Nicolaus. The bill would take effect January 1.
The measure cleared the Legislature with support only from Democrats over the objection of Republicans who it will protect criminals and make it harder for law-enforcement to keep people safe.
In an emotional debate that brought lawmakers on both sides to tears, supporters said the law is needed now more than ever.