The Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), issued the following statement today after the committee approved Senate Bill 54 (de León) on a partisan 5 to 2 vote. SB 54 would restrict local law enforcement’s ability to interact with federal authorities responsible for immigration enforcement.
“As a descendant of immigrants, I have compassion for undocumented immigrants who want to make a better life for themselves and their families. That is why the federal government must address the nation’s broken immigration system. However, SB 54 would make it more difficult for the federal government to deport those who truly pose a danger to all Californians.
“Even with proposed amendments, SB 54 severely limits communication between local law enforcement and federal immigration officials, which could lead to the release of some dangerous individuals. Furthermore, SB 54 threatens millions in funding to counties that lease space to the federal government for detainees. For example, Orange County would lose $22 million annually in federal funding because it leases over 838 jail beds to ICE for the housing of their detainees. Losing this funding will likely force Orange County to lay off sheriff’s deputies and put every neighborhood at risk.”