WASHINGTON — Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento) on Wednesday issued the following statement after U.S. Attorney General announced that he is filing suit against California to block state legislation:
“This misguided action from the Trump Administration does nothing to make our communities safer. Despite the administration’s continuous attempts to push through their divisive agenda, California will not abandon the values of diversity and inclusion that define who we are as a state and as a nation.”
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Manhattan Beach) said, “This vindictive lawsuit shows that, once again, the Trump Administration’s guiding principle is to wreak havoc at all costs. When AG Sessions and President Trump claim that undocumented immigrants make our communities less safe, they’re wrong. In fact, studies show that documented and undocumented immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than U.S.-born citizens.
“If undocumented individuals who are victims of or witnesses to a crime fear being deported, they’re less likely to report crimes or work with local officials. California recognizes that situation makes everyone less safe. We have to trust the judgment of our local leaders and honor their right to create laws meant to ensure the safety of their residents. California gets this, but apparently the Trump Administration does not.”
“At a time of unprecedented political turmoil, Jeff Sessions has come to California to further divide and polarize America. Jeff, these political stunts may be the norm in Washington, but they don’t work here. SAD!!!”
The legislation in question, Senate Bill 54 or the California Values Act was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last October. In his signing message at the time, Brown said:
“This bill states that local authorities will not ask about immigration status during routine interactions. It also bans unconstitutional detainer requests and prohibits the commandeering of local officials to do the work of immigration agents. The bill further directs our attorney general to promulgate model policies for local and state health, education, labor and judiciary officials to follow when they deal with immigration matters.
“In enshrining these new protections, it is important to note what the bill does not do. This bill does not prevent or prohibit Immigration and Customs Enforcement or the Department of Homeland Security from doing their own work in any way. They are free to use their own considerable resources to enforce federal immigration law in California.
“Moreover, the bill does not prohibit sheriffs from granting immigration authorities access to California jails to conduct routine interviews, nor does it prevent cooperation in deportation proceedings for anyone in state prison or for those in local jails for any of the hundreds of serious offenses listed in the TRUST Act.
“These are uncertain times for undocumented Californians and their families, and this bill strikes a balance that will protect public safety, while bringing a measure of comfort to those families who are now living in fear every day.”