What is the Sanctuary State?

Sanctuary State laws include SB 54 (“California Values Act”) and AB 450 (“Immigrant Worker Protection Act), both passed in 2017 and were signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown. They became effective January 1, 2018. To put it most simply, SB 54 forbids state, county, and municipal employees (including law enforcement officers) from cooperating with federal immigration authorities in ANY way. AB 450 is similar, but pertains to California employers sharing information with federal authorities having to do with an employee’s legal immigration status.

Sanctuary jurisdictions have existed within California for years or even decades before these two bills were passed, though, and with disastrous consequences for the safety of California’s children and families.

Under SB 54, the California Values Act or “Sanctuary” state law, state and local law enforcement officers are prohibited from:

  • Arresting illegal aliens solely on criminal immigration charges (If someone is convicted of a felony, deported, then re-enters the country, that re-entry is a criminal felony. SB 54 prohibits the arrest of such a criminal unless they’ve committed ANOTHER crime.).
  • Asking any arrestee about their immigration status.
  • Using federal immigration agents as interpreters.
  • Participating in joint task forces with ICE or CBP.
  • Honoring an ICE detainer request.
  • Sharing personal information, such as address and telephone number, of inmates with federal immigration agents.
  • Notifying ICE or CBP when an illegal alien is about to be released from custody.
  • Allowing ICE or CBP agents to interview an inmate.
  • Transferring an illegal alien to ICE or CBP, with very few exceptions.

In addition, it creates safe spaces at schools, hospitals, courthouses, libraries, and other public agencies by prohibiting those agencies or their employees from communicating with immigration enforcement.

The full text of SB 54 can be found here.

AB 450,

  • Requires employers to request a judicial warrant from immigration enforcement agents before allowing them access to private areas of the worksite.
  • Requires employers to request a judicial warrant or subpoena before releasing private employee records.
  • Prohibits employers from re-verifying the status of any current employee unless required by federal law.
  • Requires employers to notify their workers if the employer receives notice of an upcoming inspection of I-9 forms or other employment records as well as the results of the inspection.