Attorney General Jeff Sessions' lawsuit against California focuses on three recently passed state laws that seek to protect undocumented immigrants from federal immigration officials.
Senate Bill 54:
The so-called "sanctuary state" measure was introduced by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León shortly after President Donald Trump's election, in direct response to his campaign promise to step up deportations. It limits the ability of state and local law enforcement agencies to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill after demanding changes to assuage county sheriffs. The law:
- Prohibits agencies from using their resources to "investigate, interrogate, detain, detect, or arrest" people for immigration enforcement purposes.
- Forbids police from inquiring into an individual's immigration status or making an arrest based on a civil immigration warrant.
- Prevents departments from detaining individuals at the request of the federal government.
- Prohibits agencies from sharing release dates or other personal information, such as home and work addresses, unless the information is publicly available.
- Bans the transfer of an inmate to immigration authorities, unless authorized by a judicial warrant or the individual is serving time for or has previously been convicted of any of about 800 serious and violent crimes.
- Prevents immigration authorities from interviewing individuals at local jails without a judicial warrant.
- Requires state prison officials to obtain consent from inmates before allowing immigration authorities to interview them.
- Instructs the state corrections and parole agencies to notify federal immigration authorities at least 60 days before the scheduled release date of an undocumented immigrant who is serving time for or has previously been convicted of a serious or violent offense.
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Assembly Bill 450:
- Requires employers to ask immigration agents for a warrant before granting access to a work site.
- Prevents employers from voluntarily sharing confidential employee information without a subpoena.
- Requires employers to notify their workers before a federal audit of employee records.
- Gives the attorney general and labor commissioner exclusive authority to enforce new provisions of state labor laws.
- Prohibits employers from re-verifying information on employment verification forms, unless compelled to by federal law.
Assembly Bill 103:
This was a budget-related bill that included dozens of criminal justice provisions including these sections about jails:
- A prohibition that counties and cities that run jails from signing new or expanding existing contracts with the federal government to detain undocumented immigrants solely "for purposes of civil immigration custody."
- A requirement that the state attorney general conduct reviews of local government or private jail facilities that house these immigrants.