LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) – Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell Friday discussed his opposition to the so-called “Sanctuary State” bill currently before the California State Legislature.
Senate Bill 54 would prohibit local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration authorities, creating a border-to-border sanctuary. The Democratic legislation was written by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon of Los Angeles.
At a graduation ceremony at East Los Angeles College Friday morning, McDonnell addressed why he is against the bill.
“I feel like we have in place what we need to be able to draw that balance between public trust in all the communities that we serve and public safety,” McDonnell said.
McDonnell has written a formal letter to Leon explaining his stance. McDonnell fears the legislation would force Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents into the communities.
“The potential is, the likelihood is, they’re going to go into the communities looking for the individual, and my assessment would be they’re not going to limit themselves to that individual,” McDonnell said Friday.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has repeatedly expressed his support for the bill. Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento are among the cities that already have sanctuary policies that prohibit police from cooperating with immigration authorities, much of the state does not.
“I’m in favor of it because it mirrors what we do here in Los Angeles already, but I do think there’s probably a couple tweaks that could help the sheriffs and the chiefs of this state,” Garcetti said.
The bill is headed to a floor vote in the state Senate sometime in the next couple of weeks.