As national debate and protests have taken place over President Donald Trump’s executive actions on immigration and refugees, the state Senate Public Safety Committee on Tuesday passed the first of several bills aimed at protecting immigrants in California.
Senate Bill 54, introduced by Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), would prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies from using resources to investigate, detain, report or arrest persons for the purposes of immigration enforcement.
The proposal, dubbed the California Values Act, also aims to protect immigrants’ personal data, requiring state agencies to review their confidentiality policies and to ensure that they are only collecting information necessary to their departments.
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein announced this morning that she will vote "no" on the nomination of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions for U.S. attorney general. The statement comes after protestors visited Feinstein's home and office out of concern that she may vote in favor of the nomination.
“It is very difficult to reconcile for me the independence and objectivity necessary for the position of attorney general with the partisanship this nominee has demonstrated,” Feinstein said Tuesday. “We are being asked to determine whether this nominee’s record demonstrates that he will have the objectivity to enforce the law for all Americans and be an independent attorney general and not an arm of the White House."
Feinstein is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which votes today on the confirmation of Sessions to be President Trump's attorney general.
President Trump’s executive order Friday, which blocked U.S. entry to refugees and nationals of seven Muslim-majority nations, brought thousands of Americans to the nation’s airports in protest over the weekend.
Several Democrats from California’s 54-member congressional delegation joined constituents at airports, and lobbied customs and Border Patrol officials to release the detained visa holders. Many of the state’s 14 Republican representatives were initially silent on the executive order. Several have since voiced their support, while others were critical of the order’s rollout.
Here’s a look at what each member of the California congressional delegation has said about the executive order:
After nearly two hours of debate, the state Senate on Monday passed a resolution that condemned President Trump’s executive order banning immigrants and refugees from seven predominantly Muslim countries, calling it "discriminatory overreach."
Democrats introduced the resolution after the president's order Friday spurred a weekend of protests and chaos at airports across the country. The resolution denounces Trump's actions and urges the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to comply with federal court orders permitting detainees to have timely access to counsel.
It cleared the Senate floor with a 26-11 vote largely along party lines, reflecting the national rift over Trump's immigration order. Two Republican members abstained.
A joint statement by 15 attorneys general over the weekend condemning President Trump’s refugee order grew out of a meeting in Florida between California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra and some of his concerned counterparts, Becerra said Monday.
Becerra gathered Thursday in Fort Lauderdale with other attorneys general, including Washington Atty. Gen. Bob Ferguson, to strategize about responding to the Trump administration on various issues.
The meeting took place at the annual winter conference of the Democratic Attorneys General Assn.