Kiley’s Corner: California cannot remain a sanctuary state

By From page A5 | November 01, 2017

If there is one thing Californians agree on, it is that our elected officials focus too much on political posturing and too little on the public interest. This penchant for putting political theatrics over sound public policy reached a new low with the Legislature’s recent passage of a bill making California a “Sanctuary State.”

Senate Bill 54, which I led the fight against in the Assembly Judiciary Committee, will move California’s relationship with the federal government into unprecedented and quite possibly unconstitutional territory. Introduced in December of 2016, when President Obama was still in office, the bill upends what has always been a key area of bipartisan consensus: that immigration enforcement should focus first and foremost on people who have committed crimes.

Specifically, SB 54 requires local law enforcement to ignore requests from federal officials to detain individuals, before they are released from a county jail, who have both violated immigration law and been arrested for a crime. Such cooperation across levels of government has been standard practice for decades, yet SB 54 prohibits it in all cases where the offender has not been charged with a serious felony. Under the California penal code, that would include crimes such as assault on a police officer, animal abuse and gang-related activity. The bill has received near unanimous opposition from law enforcement, who warn it will jeopardize public safety. Even Gov. Jerry Brown balked at this radical idea before ultimately being pressured to sign a modified version.

The concern is not merely that released offenders will re-victimize their communities. The key issue is where immigration enforcement takes place. Federal authorities have long been tasked with finding individuals who have a criminal record and who pose a threat to public safety. This bill, by all but preventing orderly transfers of custody for such offenders in the safety of a local jail, moves enforcement actions into the community where they are inherently riskier and more disruptive.

I would not be surprised if the Sanctuary State bill is struck down by the courts or even counteracted by Congress. The greater challenge will be reversing course in a state that for too long has neglected public safety concerns and stripped law enforcement of the tools they need to keep the public safe. In the coming year, I will be working with legislators in both parties to put politics aside and once again put the safety of our communities first.

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley represents the California 6th Assembly District, which includes parts of El Dorado, Placer and Sacramento counties. On Monday, Nov. 13, from 9 to 11 a.m he will host a community coffee at the Orangevale Grange (5807 Walnut Ave., Orangevale).

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Discussion | 8 comments

  • Terry HalvorsonNovember 01, 2017 - 10:53 pm

    Don't listen to these scare tactics. Mr Kiley may be representing his districts but it does not reflect what the state wants as a whole. The LAPD police chief supports SB54 as do most police departments. As usual it is the California State Sheriffs Association that is spreading lies. Talk about a political organization that is run by an elected Sheriff. I'll put my trust in police departments who are interested in protecting and serving and not politics. Read up on SB54 and make your own conclusion.

  • Katherine WhalenNovember 06, 2017 - 1:03 pm

    Why would anyone who was elected to represent ALL the people of California support any bill, which would not allow law enforcement agencies to cooperate with each other. It defies common sense. California needs change in our elected representatives. They are not using good judgment or making sensible decisions which would protect the people of California. When are the people of this state going to say enough of the politics, we want people to represent us who care about our safety more than supporting illegal immigration.

  • Will W.November 06, 2017 - 6:19 pm

    And i mean you Terry Halvorson you moron!! Kevin you are doing a great job in a loser sanctuary state like Calif.

  • Joni CorleyNovember 06, 2017 - 11:37 am

    Kevin, thank you for taking the stance that you have on this subject. California attracts many kinds of people, many of which have not been vetted, who are here illegally and some of whom are potential criminals. We should know who resides in our state to protect the legal and law abiding citizens. Mr. Halvorson states that the majority of law enforcement agencies in the State support SB54, I'd like to see his study and know when it was completed. You need to back up your statement with statistics. And if you watch the news, you'll see that there is very little respect for those with a badge that we call on to protect us. Let's give all Law Enforcement personnel a week off with pay and see how we protect ourselves. California does not need to be a Sanctuary State. That will present a whole new set of problems for a state that needs to protect it's law abiding citizens, not those who reside here illegally. If one has nothing to hide, why not apply for citizenship and reside in California legally!

  • Jan EisenhauerNovember 08, 2017 - 10:31 am

    It is quite obvious that Mr. Halvorson does not really care about the American Citizens in the State of California. He refers to the Sacramento Bee article, he fails to state that with the exception of The San Jose Mercury, the Bee is further left then most Media and will miss lead the public as a course to further the liberal agenda.

  • Terry HalvorsonNovember 09, 2017 - 9:58 pm

    All I'm asking is our elected officials to represent all of their constituents. On this issue I may fall in the minority in El Dorado county but not in the state as a whole. Read the bill and look for another source of information besides FOX news which defends it's non factual sources by stating that they are an entertainment network first and not a news network. There are way more important issues in our state than rooting out all the hard working workers in our county that contribute their fair share to our tax base.

  • Terry GherardiNovember 12, 2017 - 3:26 pm

    In a University of California, Berkeley poll, 74% of Californian's oppose Sanctuary not only are you the minority in El Dorado County, but in the State, except for the bay area and Los Angeles. And why would anyone want to hamstring all law enforcement officers, in protecting their community. Thank you Kevin, Sheriff D'Agostini and all our elected that oppose SB 54.

  • Terry HalvorsonNovember 14, 2017 - 6:13 pm

    That's an old poll Terry and had a very small sample size that did not represent the entire state demographic. Here's the latest poll from a few days ago that shows a majority of Californians support a sanctuary state. Sorry your opinion is only in the majority on this issue in El Dorado County just as I stated. My opinion is it should not be the top priority for our legislature.



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