The VISION Act closes a loophole in the previous law, the California Values Act of 2018, SB 54 (sometimes known as the “Sanctuary State” Act), which allows police and sheriff It restricted the department from working with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The immigrant had been convicted of a serious or violent crime. The Values Act did not prohibit transfers to ICE by prison or detention center, but the VISION Act does.
Police and sheriff groups oppose the bill. They point to federal law that immigrants, even those who legally have green cards, can be deported if they commit a so-called “aggravated felony.” And they say it’s safer for ICE to be held in a locked facility than to be arrested at home or in a public place.
“This proposed bill puts local law enforcement in a no-win situation where they must choose between state and federal law,” the California Police Research Association said in a statement last year. .
Law enforcement agencies also said in a joint statement that the VISION Act would prevent them from notifying immigration authorities of the release of people who have served time for crimes such as rape, murder and torture.
“Nor do we claim that immigrants somehow pose a greater threat than citizens, nor do we seek to implicate immigration authorities in low-level crimes. The point is that it does not protect against law enforcement,” the statement said.
But proponents of the bill say California has no immigration enforcement responsibility, and ICE can take deportation proceedings against anyone, whether imprisoned or not. They point to other states, such as Oregon and Illinois, that have passed laws that stop most prison-to-ICE transfers.
“In California, we have always prided ourselves on being the first when it comes to social justice. It’s time to act.”