Los Angeles law enforcement officials expressed support Saturday for the “sanctuary state” bill just passed by the Legislature, saying it will protect immigrants from federal enforcement as they leave jails without jeopardizing local agencies’ relationships with federal officials.
The legislation passed early Saturday drastically scaled back the version first introduced, the result of tough negotiations between Gov. Jerry Brown and the bill’s author, Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), in the final weeks of the legislative session. The bill must still be signed by the governor.
Los Angeles County Sheriff James McDonnell, an early and prominent opponent of the bill, said the changes had satisfied his concerns that it would hurt immigrants more than it would help them.
“While not perfect, [the bill] kept intact our ability to maintain partnerships with federal law enforcement officials who help us in the fight against gangs, drugs and human trafficking,” McDonnell said in a written statement. “It also retains the controlled access that the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement has to our jails.”
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