California Just Became a 'Sanctuary State' - Here's What That Means

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s recent raids targeted immigrants in sanctuary cities in a four-day operation

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s recent raids targeted immigrants in sanctuary cities in a four-day operation

The acting director of ICE issued a statement Friday threatening arrests of undocumented immigrants en masse "in local neighborhoods and at worksites" in response to California's newly signed "sanctuary state" law.

Jerry Brown signed a package of bills aimed at protecting undocumented immigrants - effectively making the Golden State a sanctuary state.

In addition to the California law, cities and towns in Texas are battling in federal court over a new state law that requires local jurisdictions to hold immigrants arrested for local crimes past their release dates so that federal agents can take them into custody and try to deport them.

Federal immigration officers are "free to use their own considerable resources" when enforcing federal law in the state.

Another bill by Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderon (D-Whittier) would ensure that no state office or entity in California could compel a landlord to obtain and disclose information on a tenant's immigration status.

Brown also signed 10 other immigration bills on Thursday, meant to "enhance housing, school, workplace and civil protections for California's immigrants".

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"This bill does not prevent or prohibit Immigration and Customs Enforcement or the Department of Homeland Security from doing their own work in any way", Brown said in a rare signing message. There is strong symbolism in the move, although California governments' actions relative to individuals in the country illegally will change little in many parts of the state.

California is home to an estimated 2.3 million immigrants without legal authorization.

De Leon said the Trump administration attempts to create division through fear-mongering.

SB 54 "will inevitably result in additional collateral arrests, instead of focusing on arrests at jails and prisons where transfers are safer for ICE officers and the community", Homan warned.

A number of cities in California, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, have already banned police officers from collaborating with ICE on operations to capture undocumented immigrants.

Last month, Sessions called California's sanctuary state bill "unconscionable".

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"I know Trump supporters don't get this from their news, but immigrants commit far fewer crimes than citizens".

"California's local law enforcement can not be commandeered by the Trump administration and used to tear families apart, undermine our public safety and wreck our economy", De Leon said. "That's not fake news, but the Trump administration doesn't want you to understand that", De Leon said.

The Trump Administration has been threatening to withhold federal funds from states that declare themselves as sanctuaries.

"It protects public safety but it also protects hardworking people who contribute a lot to California", Brown told CNN, adding, "the [ICE] can come into our jails, they can interview people, they can pick up people they think are appropriate".

"The President will be laying out his responsible immigration plan over the next week", Huckabee Sanders said at Thursday's press briefing.

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