Calif. - The head of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement has responded to California's new Sanctuary State law. This comes one day after Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill to extend protections statewide for immigrants living in the United States illegally.
Acting Director Tom Homan said the new law will negatively impact ICE operations in California by prohibiting local law enforcement from contracting with federal government to house detainees.
"ICE will have no choice but to conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at worksites, which will inevitably result in additional collateral arrests, instead of focusing on arrests at jails and prisons where transfers are safer for ICE officers and the community. ICE will also likely have to detain individuals arrested in California in detention facilities outside of the state, far from any family they may have in California," said Homan.
California is home to an estimated 2.3 million immigrants without legal authorization. The bill bars police from asking people about their immigration status or participating in federal immigration enforcement activities in most cases starting Jan. 1.
Homan said, "Ultimately, SB54 helps shield removable aliens from immigration enforcement and creates another magnet for more illegal immigration, all at the expense of the safety and security of the very people it purports to protect."
California's Democratic Senate leader Kevin de Leon introduced the bill in response to widespread fear in immigrant communities following the election of Trump, who railed against immigrants in his campaign and promised to sharply ramp up deportation.
“The Trump Administration is once again making heavy-handed threats against California because we won’t help them tear apart families and our economy in the process,” Senator de León said. “The Acting ICE Director’s inaccurate statement exemplifies the fearmongering and lies that guide this Administration.”
ICE said the new law creates challenges for them however they will continue to seek out immigration violators.