During his presidential campaign against the Democrat’s heir apparent Hillary Clinton, President-elect Donald Trump used the murder case of San Franciscan woman Kate Steinle — an American citizen murdered by a notorious illegal alien — to illustrate the evils of so-called sanctuary cities. Now that he’s set to be sworn in as President, he may find his promise an arduous and complicated one since he will have to deal with more than 500 cities, counties and towns in the state of California alone.
There are exactly 482 sanctuary cities and towns in the Golden State plus another 58 sanctuary counties. That is because California is a sanctuary state. And under the Democratic Party, that state’s officials are more concerned with the health, safety and welfare of illegal immigrants than that of U.S. citizens.
Under Gov. Jerry Brown, the state passed a law that mandates a minimum sanctuary status. All municipalities and counties in California are sanctuaries. It is not necessary for cities to declare themselves sanctuaries any longer. If they do, it is just because they want to do it to be “in your face.” California is in a state of insurrection against the federal government.
And rather than the current president directing his Justice Department to stop the violation of federal law by states lacking jurisdiction as far as immigration, the Justice Department actually defends these cities whose Democrat politicians thumb their noses at the law.
“A litigation battle is raging between the states and President Barack Obama over his attempt to impose a nationwide “sanctuary” policy for illegal aliens. Yet, there is no question that existing sanctuary policies implemented by numerous towns and cities have victimized innocent Americans. Those sanctuary policies have enabled illegal aliens to commit thousands of crimes –crimes that would not have occurred had their perpetrators been deported in keeping with existing law,” stated Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation.
The Trust Act is a sanctuary law for the entire state of California. It applies to counties and local cities as you can read in the actual text of the law (attached) in paragraph 7282(d). Therefore, there is no need for California city councils or counties to declare themselves sanctuary cities any longer. They are already (informal) sanctuaries by state law. Cooperation with ICE is only allowed under certain conditions. That is, the inmate has been convicted of one of a list of serious crimes that the law spells out. If you live in California, you are already living in a sanctuary for illegal aliens.
The TRUST Act (AB 4 – Ammiano) became law on January 1st, 2014 and limits local jails from holding people for extra time just so they can be deported. County jails can no longer respond to requests to hold individuals solely based on their immigration status, unless certain conditions are met. Even then, local law enforcement always has the discretion not to use local resources to detain immigrants for extra time. The TRUST Act ensures that, as of January 1st, people with most low-level, non-violent offenses (misdemeanors) are not wastefully held for deportation purposes. At the same time, the law allows detention of people with felony convictions and of those charged with felonies under certain circumstances. It also allows detention for people with a number of higher level misdemeanor (or “wobbler”) convictions within the past 5 years, and for certain federal criminal offenses.
The TRUST Act addresses the harmful impact of California’s participation in the federal government’s controversial “Secure Communities” (S-Comm) deportation program, which has led to the deportation of over 90,000 individuals in California. The law will begin to repair relationships between the immigrant community and local law enforcement and limit the use of local resources to detain immigrants. It provides essential safeguards for public safety, community policing and civil liberties. The TRUST Act is a statewide minimum standard, and local jurisdictions can and should go farther to limit to harmful impact of S-Comm and detention of immigrants in local jails.
The ACLU of California was a sponsor of AB 4, along with four other organizations, and is now working on implementation of the new law.
Jim Kouri is a member of the Board of Advisors and a former vice president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, Inc.