SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued the following statement on U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement that he will file suit to block California legislation:
“At a time of unprecedented political turmoil, Jeff Sessions has come to California to further divide and polarize America. Jeff, these political stunts may be the norm in Washington, but they don’t work here. SAD!!!”
The text of Governor Brown’s Senate Bill 54 signing message – issued last October – is copied below and clearly spells out what California law does and doesn’t do:
October 5, 2017
To the Members of the California State Senate:
I am signing Senate Bill 54, the California Values Act.
This bill states that local authorities will not ask about immigration status during routine interactions. It also bans unconstitutional detainer requests and prohibits the commandeering of local officials to do the work of immigration agents. The bill further directs our Attorney General to promulgate model policies for local and state health, education, labor and judiciary officials to follow when they deal with immigration matters.
In enshrining these new protections, it is important to note what the bill does not do. This bill does not prevent or prohibit Immigration and Customs Enforcement or the Department of Homeland Security from doing their own work in any way. They are free to use their own considerable resources to enforce federal immigration law in California. Moreover, the bill does not prohibit sheriffs from granting immigration authorities access to California jails to conduct routine interviews, nor does it prevent cooperation in deportation proceedings for anyone in state prison or for those in local jails for any of the hundreds of serious offenses listed in the TRUST Act.
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.
Edmund G. Brown Jr.