MOORLACH UPDATE — Senate Bill 6 — January 30, 2017

The last thing I want to do is send you a daily UPDATE. I would prefer to do just a couple per week. But, the pace at which our new President is going, and the visceral reactions by the majority party leadership in our state, have kept media representatives going at a fast clip. And, I believe that you should receive the insights as they occur in real time.

The theme of defiance continues. Senate Bill 6, mentioned below, will be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee, where I am the Vice Chair, Tuesday afternoon. The power of the super-majority may be felt very soon–to the detriment of the citizens of California–and the San Jose Mercury News provides the details in the piece below.

Speaking of San Jose, my wife and I enjoyed a fun evening at the Lupus Foundation of Northern California’s Fourth Annual Gala this past Saturday evening (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Lupus Awareness — January 6, 2017 january 6, 2017 john moorlach).

One of the many wonderful guests I had the opportunity to meet was San Jose Mayor Sam T. Liccardo, who also knows someone who is suffering with Lupus. Autoimmune diseases have had an impact on many that we love. Scleroderma hit close to home for me again last summer, with the loss of State Senator Sharon Runner. Please keep those who you know that have an autoimmune disease, like lupus, in your thoughts and prayers. And, please keep their spouses and immediate relatives in your thoughts and prayers, too.

Defiant California Legislature

fast-tracks ‘sanctuary state’



As President Trump threatens to strip federal funding from so-called “sanctuary cities,” defiant Democrats in Sacramento are doubling down on policies to protect immigrants at risk of deportation — bills that many say would turn California into a sanctuary state.

One would prohibit police officers from collecting information on a person’s immigration status or from responding to certain requests from federal agents. Others would use taxpayer-funded legal aid to help people in deportation proceedings and train defense attorneys on immigration law.

The fast-tracked proposals — set for hearings Tuesday — have become a key tactic in California’s resistance against the Trump administration’s policies on immigration. They have drawn plaudits from immigration advocates and criticism from opponents who say they tie the hands of local police and risk further alienating Washington.

“If we’re getting $100 billion in federal funding, $85 billion of which goes to local communities, who is Sacramento to jeopardize that funding for our local communities?” said Sen. John Moorlach, a Republican representing Orange County. “That’s playing chicken with somebody else’s money.”

In the Bay Area, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara and Alameda counties, as well as several local cities like Oakland and San Jose, already have declared themselves sanctuaries, along with dozens of other municipalities up and down the state. But the legislation would require all California communities to adopt similar protections.

The legislative package was introduced in December but has taken on a new sense of urgency among California’s Democratic leaders since Wednesday, when Trump issued executive orders to heighten immigration enforcement and border security. Senate Bill 54, a proposal championed by the leader of the state Senate, Kevin de Leon, would prevent local law enforcement agencies across the state “from using resources to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect, report, or arrest persons for immigration enforcement purposes.”

“We need to stand up for every man, woman and child who has contributed to our community,” said Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, who introduced one of the bills and is co-sponsoring another. “That is under full-frontal attack by the federal administration now.”

California’s Trust Act — passed in 2013 — already restricts the ability of law enforcement to keep someone in custody for immigration authorities after they are eligible for release. The proposed new measures would go further, preventing agencies from collecting information on people’s legal status or from responding to certain requests from federal agents for information, such as phone numbers, work addresses or release dates.

Some of the current provisions to prohibit the sharing of information with federal authorities could face legal challenges, said USC Gould School of Law Professor Niels Frenzen.

“There’s an argument that under certain circumstances it might run afoul of the federal law,” Frenzen said.

The advocacy network We the People Rising, which favors strong immigration enforcement, will be actively opposing the bills, said executive director Robin Hvidston.

“It actually puts the nation at risk when our state is crafting bills that do not uphold or respect the federal law,” she said.

Two law enforcement groups — the California Police Chiefs Association and the Peace Officers Research Association of California — say they have not taken a position yet on the bills.

While most laws passed this year wouldn’t take effect until January 2018, Democrats are pushing this legislation as an urgency measure that would go live before the ink dries on the governor’s signature — if they clear the Democratic-controlled Legislature by a two-thirds margin. While some moderate Democrats, such as Sen. Steve Glazer, D-Orinda, are still studying the bill, a two-thirds vote is a distinct possibility, as the Democrats enjoy a supermajority in both houses.

While a spokeswoman for Gov. Jerry Brown said he would not comment on the bills, Brown spoke forcefully in his State of the State address on Tuesday about supporting immigrants. “Let me be clear,” he said. “We will defend everybody — every man, woman and child — who has come here for a better life and has contributed to the well-being of our state.”

California’s immigration bills essentially “poke Donald Trump in the eye,” said Loyola Law Professor Jessica Levinson — a move that “carries some risk.”

But, she said, with its large economy and tax base, which the federal government needs, “California is uniquely situated to be a very powerful voice against federal policy.”


Senate Bill 54, proposal championed by the leader of the state Senate, Kevin de Leon, would prevent local law enforcement agencies across the state “from using resources to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect, report, or arrest persons for immigration enforcement purposes.”

Assembly Bill 3, introduced by Assemblymember Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, would create state-funded centers to train public defenders and other defense attorneys on immigration law.

Senate Bill 6, by Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, would create a state program — much like a public defender program — for those facing deportation.



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