In 2017, California passed Senate Bill 54, or the California Values Act, also known as the “sanctuary state law.” It has been called a “failed two-year social science experiment” by Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes.
“Rather than protect our immigrant community, the law has enabled offenders to be released, often times back into the immigrant communities they prey upon, and create new victims,” Sheriff Barnes said.
Sadly, simply providing a haven for criminals living here illegally was not enough for the state that is apparently in a mad dash to leave common-sense and logic in the rearview mirror.
SB54 went into effect January 1, 2018. But legislators in the California went in to overdrive to create even greater protections for illegals.
During the 2019 legislative session, California continued to pass many new laws to “normalize” illegal immigration and give those individuals expanded rights and protections. Governor Gavin Newsom (D) signed these measures that were vetoed by his predecessor, former Governor Jerry Brown (D), for being too extreme.
- Senate Bill 225: allows illegal aliens to hold any “appointed civil office” and to “receive any form of compensation that the person is not otherwise prohibited from receiving pursuant to federal law.” A nearly identical bill was vetoed last year by former Gov. Brown.
- Assembly Bill 668: locks Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) out of state courthouses. This legislation was also previously vetoed by Gov. Brown.
- Senate Bill 104: expands the health benefits to illegal aliens by making aliens aged 19-25 eligible for Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program. Illegal aliens 18-years old and younger were already eligible.
- Assembly Bill 1645: requires the California Community Colleges and the California State University to designate a Dreamer Resource Liaison on each of their respective campuses to help illegal alien and other immigrant students obtain financial aid and other resources such as social and legal services.
- Assembly Bill 32: bans private prisons, the majority which contract with ICE to hold illegal aliens while their cases go through immigration court.
- Assembly Bill 1747: restricts the use of the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS) for immigration enforcement.
President Trump has noted that “in California … [t]hey don’t treat their people (citizens) as well as they treat illegal immigrants.”
Former Acting ICE Director Tom Homan condemned the Golden State for “effectively making the absurd claim that it has the power to ignore federal law.”
He added “California lawmakers would do well to remember that California is part of the United States. Unless the state secedes and becomes an independent nation, it has to obey the same laws as the rest of our country.”
Back to the sanctuary laws and Sheriff Barnes.
“SB 54 has made our community less safe,” Sheriff Barnes said in a statement. “The law has resulted in new crimes because my deputies were unable to communicate with their federal partners about individuals who committed serious offenses and present a threat to our community if released.”
Records show that the county released 2,121 inmates from jail who should have been held on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers in 2018 and 2019, ICE said in a statement.
ICE was not notified in any of those cases under the new sanctuary law.
A total of 411 of those released inmates have since been re-arrested on additional charges within Orange County.
Yes, you read that correctly. 411, just in Orange County. Figures have not yet been released for the entire state.
“The aliens who were rearrested include those with charges including: rape, assault with a deadly weapon, child sex offenses, domestic violence, identify theft, and driving under the influence,” the ICE statement said.
Records showed that 173 released inmates with ICE detainers were re-arrested in 2018, with 238 more in 2019.
Using those figures as averages, Orange County will have re-arrested 625 violent offenders by the end of the 5th year of the sanctuary law, if it isn’t repealed.
“I applaud Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes for his continued efforts to explain why these sanctuary policies do not make sense when it comes public safety,” ICE Acting Director Matthew Albence said. “This is exactly what ICE has said time and again. These policies do nothing but ensure that criminals are released back into the community, where many re-offend, instead of being turned over to ICE.”
“These are preventable crimes, and more importantly, preventable victims,” the director continued. “As the data released by Sheriff Barnes clearly demonstrates, all communities are safer when local law enforcement works with ICE.”
Barnes, who was elected in November of 2018, is not a fan of the sanctuary law that makes his county less safe.
“I am strongly opposed to the State Legislature’s proposal restricting law enforcement’s ability to communicate with federal law enforcement partners. Efforts to make California a “Sanctuary State” puts politics ahead of public safety. The Sheriff’s Department currently partners with federal immigration authorities to remove violent undocumented offenders from our community. As Sheriff I will continue this partnership and stand against politically motivated actions that compromise public safety.”
Sadly, the Sheriff is not alone in both the frustration of having sanctuary laws and being forced to enforce them.
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