By Shaun Rundle, Legislative & Region Affairs Representative.
The bill by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León to cut off communications between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities is being heard in the Assembly Public Safety Committee this week. SB 54 passed all Senate committees and a vote on the floor, and now the controversial bill, which CPOA still opposes, will hear policy arguments on public safety concerns. The bill remains unchanged since it passed the Senate, and CPOA opposes language that would pin Sheriffs and custodial personnel against the feds and create new burdens on task force reporting.
Full language of SB 54 can be found here, but the bill was approved by the Assembly Public Safety Committee on June 13th. During his presentation of the bill to the committee, President Pro Tem de León acknowledged that he would continue to work with law enforcement on their concerns with the bill, and the has met with us to find a balance. There is not much to that promise, however, as the bill has remained unchanged since March.
Further, the author is presenting the bill as a response to “Mothers being taken away from their children, and children from their mothers.” He and the bill’s supporters tout the measure as a solution to building community trust with law enforcement, but fail to clear up the confusion around ICE agents and local police. Just because ICE agents wear “POLICE” across their tactical uniforms does not mean they are local law enforcement. This bill specifically focuses on incarcerated illegals, but Senator de León says the bill is not a “sanctuary state” bill and that ‘sanctuary states and cities’ don’t even exist.
CPOA continues to oppose SB 54, and made our opposition known again in Assembly Public Safety Committee this week. Originally, the bill was opposed by CPOA, CSSA and San Bernardino Sheriff John McMahon, but now opposition includes Cal Chiefs, PORAC, and many local POA’s.