What protections are available under California’s state laws and the local practices of “sanctuary” cities and counties in the state?
“Sanctuary” defined: A “sanctuary” jurisdiction describes cities, counties, and states with policies designed to limit cooperation with or involvement in federal immigration enforcement actions.
California’s Statewide Protections:
- In 2013, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the Trust Act into law. As a result, state police cannot detain someone with the goal of turning them over to federal immigration authorities unless the person has been charged with or convicted of a serious crime.
- Similarly, in 2016, Governor Brown signed the Truth Act, which created a number of protections for immigrants in California, including that if ICE places a detainer on someone in jail in California, the jail staff must serve the person with a copy of that detainer, which allows them more time to contact family and an attorney.
- In addition, California issues special AB 60 “Undocumented Person” Driver’s Licenses to undocumented Californians, which allow undocumented people to legally drive in California without having their information sent to federal immigration agents. However, these driver’s licenses CANNOT be used out-of-state or in federal buildings like airports.
Local “Sanctuary” Protections in California:
- In response to Trump’s Executive Order, California “sanctuary” cities and counties are fighting back, providing even stronger protections than the state of California, with San Francisco leading the charge. To learn more about which cities and counties provide special protections for undocumented immigrants, view the “sanctuary” map here: www.ilrc.org/local-enforcement-map. Zoom into the map over your city, and if there is a colorful pin on the map, click it to learn more about local protections.