California lawmakers approve sanctuary bill

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Jerry Brown. The governor and the bill's author, Democratic State Senate.

In a last minute vote early on Saturday, California's legislature voted to approve a bill that would limit police cooperation with federal immigration authorities, according to multiple reports.

The bill passed the Assembly by a vote of 51-26, and then the Senate by 27-11.

The bill does allow California police officers to communicate with federal agents about those convicted of hundreds of felonies within the past 15 years. But they'll be barred from transferring immigrants to federal authorities if their rap sheet includes only minor offenses.

The agreement came on the same day the state sued the Trump administration over its decision to end a program that shields young immigrants from deportation.

The bill prohibits law-enforcement from conducting front-line immigration enforcement but allows jail officials to notify federal agents about some people in detention.

California senate leader Kevin De Leon said the changes wouldn't alter the fundamental objective of the law: preventing law enforcement from aiding the Trump administration's deportation crackdown against supposedly non-violent illegal immigrants.

California lawmakers are debating the measure as the U.S. Congress considers offering legal status to young immigrants whose parents brought them into the country illegally or overstayed their visas.

But Republicans warned their colleagues that the legislation was unsafe and unnecessary, making it harder to deport criminals.

IL recently passed even more protective legislation that bars law enforcement from detaining immigrants exclusively for deportation, said Shiu Ming Cheer, senior staff attorney at the National Immigration Law Center.

California's three investor-owned utilities, Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric, said the bill does not protect customers from the cost of switching from fossil fuels.

"Our overarching concern remains that limiting local law enforcement's ability to communicate and cooperate with federal law enforcement officers endangers public safety", the group said in a statement.

He says California would follow the lead of nine other states with similar restrictions.

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