State of Sanctuary

The Capitol building in Sacramento, CA. Photo/Sacha Bruck via wikicommons.

The Capitol building in Sacramento, CA. Photo/Sacha Bruck via wikicommons.

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed landmark “sanctuary state” legislation (SB54) into law on Oct. 5, which will make California a sanctuary state for immigrants once the law goes into effect.

The law will prevent law enforcement from questioning people about their citizenship during routine procedures. It will also prevent local and state law enforcement agencies from questioning, holding or sharing information about people with federal immigration agents, with the exception of individuals who have been convicted of one or more offenses from a list of 800 crimes, via California Legislative Information.

Gov. Brown wrote a signing message about SB54 in which he says, “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,” said Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr,. Democratic lawmakers and Gov. Brown have also protracted the legislation towards healthcare, financial aid, and driver’s license.

Although this law will protect immigrants from being questioned about their citizenship from law enforcement, it does not protect immigrants from the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Recently, ICE reported the deportation of roughly 500 illegal immigrants across sanctuary cities in Philadelphia, California, and New York, according to Fox News. The raid as ICE called it “Operation ‘Safe City’” took place across the U.S. for four days. Criminals and gang members were targeted, it was made clear that DACA recipients were not.

This new law will help protect Californians under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which Trump announced the repeal of on Sept. 5.

Immediately following the DACA news, the DREAMers Club at Chaffey College held a peaceful Awareness Rally on the Rancho Campus. The rally was to support of students who are beneficiaries of the DACA program.

“We heard the news, and we announced them to the club at our meeting last Monday,” said DREAMers Club President Moises Rosales in a statement on behalf of the club. “We were excited because we had asked the college last semester to assure its students it would be a sanctuary college. We didn’t really get that, instead we got a resolution passed by the college’s governing board. We also heard that ICE will now do raids at large-without a single target, which means more ‘collateral damage’ may occur.”

“We are not new to this. We have lived our whole lives fearing and facing deportation. SB54 is a victory for our community, but we still have a long way to go.”

The “sanctuary state” legislation is not set to take effect until January 2018, according to Los Angeles Times. Until then, law enforcement can still question anyone on their citizenship status at any given time.