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California Becomes Sanctuary State on New Year’s Day
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Summary: California has become the first “sanctuary state” in the country. 

In response to President Donald Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration, California has become a “sanctuary state” starting on January 1, 2018. They are the first state to enact this policy.

  
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Last October, Democratic Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that would give undocumented immigrants a safe haven from deportation, and the bill went into effect on Monday, according to Fox News.

“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,” Brown said in 2017.

California’s new law will prohibit police from asking people about their immigration status and will bar immigration officials from enforcing most immigration activities, Fox News stated. The law will also allow schools, public libraries, and health facilities to be safe zones where people cannot be arrested if they are undocumented immigrants, according to NBC News.

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California, which is the country’s most populous state, has an estimated 2.3 million illegal immigrants. The state passed its sanctuary state law just as Trump pledged to crack down on sanctuary cities such as San Francisco, which was the location of one of the most high-profile illegal immigrant crimes in recent history.

Trump has frequently stated that illegal immigrants from Mexico are “rapists” and “criminals,” and he has pointed to the case of Kate Steinle as an example. Steinle was shot and killed by an illegal immigrant in San Francisco, and the alleged shooter was acquitted of murder in November 2017. After the decision was made, Trump called it “disgraceful.”



So far, the bill appears to already have vocal naysayers. An unidentified source posted signs below the “Welcome to California” signs near the California-Arizona and California-Nevada borders that read, “OFFICIAL SANCTUARY STATE. Felons, Illegals and MS13 Welcome! Democrats Need The Votes!”

People in the Trump administration have also criticized California’s proposal, claiming that the Sunshine State cares more about politics than public safety.

“The bill risks the safety of good law enforcement officers and the safety of the neighborhoods that need their protection the most,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

California’s Bay Area already has cities that refuse to cooperate with immigration officials, but proponents said that the state-wide law will allow all communities to fight crime, according to NBC News.

“It’s appropriate to have this statewide because if people don’t feel they are in a position of trust, then we won’t get phone calls to police, and we want those phone calls made and witnesses to testify in court,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said.

What do you think of California becoming a sanctuary state? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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