California Debates Bill To Stop Cooperation With Federal Immigration Enforcement As California officials oppose the Trump administration's immigration crackdown, they wonder how far they can push. A legislator introduced a bill to not allow local authorities to work with ICE. MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST: California has been loud and clear about opposing President Trump's deportation efforts. The legislature in Sacramento is considering a bill that would prohibit local police from collaborating with federal immigration agents. But as that bill gets hashed out, lawmakers face a question - how far are they willing to go?
Adrian Florido of NPR's Code Switch reports. ADRIAN FLORIDO, BYLINE: Kevin de Leon, the Democratic leader of the California State Senate says that after Donald Trump's election, he felt compelled to respond to Trump's deportation promises. Trump often spoke of enlisting the help of local police. So in December, de Leon introduced Senate Bill 54. KEVIN DE LEON: The Trump administration - in order for them to be successful in the detainment and deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants, they have to commandeer local police officers, police agencies. We won't allow that. FLORIDO: The bill he introduced said that local police and sheriffs could not work with federal immigration or ICE agents in any way - no giving ICE access to local jails or inmate databases, no turning immigrants they arrest over to ICE agents. No exceptions, says Jessica LED High Mast Lamp Karp Bansal, an attorney and advocate who's helped with the bill's language.
JESSICA KARP BANSAL: When it originally started, it was a very bright-line rule: our police are not involved in immigration. FLORIDO: But political pressure has come to bear on the bill. It now includes exceptions, allowing police to turn over immigrants convicted of certain violent felonies. As the bill has evolved, it's served as a kind of reality check on how far California is really willing to go to protect immigrants in the country illegally and which immigrants. The state is home to more unauthorized immigrants than any other, so the bill's supporters and opponents agree that where the bill ends will set a precedent. KARP BANSAL: California has become a symbol. And what California is able to do sort of sets the line for what other states and counties are able to do.