California State Senate Introduces California Values Act

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California State Senate President Kevin de León is working on keeping immigrants safe from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) through a new bill called the California Values Act. If passed, the bill would make public schools, hospitals, and courthouses safe zones, prohibiting federal and state law enforcement from enforcing immigration laws in those places.

de León released a statement, in which he vowed to protect the state’s inhabitants from the mass deportations President-elect Trump promised: “To the millions of undocumented residents pursuing and contributing to the California Dream, the state of California will be your wall of justice should the incoming administration adopt an inhumane and over-reaching mass-deportation policy.”

The act will not, however, prohibit the deportation of violent offenders once they are in federal custody nor will it protect undocumented individuals from being arrested by local authorities if they commit a crime. The legislation is meant to protect those undocumented people who obey the law, and since state and cities governments have no legal obligation to enforce immigration laws, there’s not a lot the federal government can do. If the California Values Act passes in the State Senate, the over one million undocumented immigrants living in the state can continue to go to school, get medical treatment, and settle legal matters without fearing detainment.

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Sara Roncero-Menendez is the Online Editor for Long Island Wins. Prior to joining the Long Island Wins team, she graduate from NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and worked as a reporter for publications like Mashable, The Huffington Post, and PSFK. She became involved in immigration issues and advocacy while working towards her Masters degree at The University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign. After joining the Graduate Employee Organization Local 6300, she worked on helping international and undocumented students work with the administration to get fair financial aid and fellowship opportunities. Sara also works on issues of representation in mass media, including film and television, and works on media reviews and podcast.

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