By Randy Paige

WEST COVINA ( — West Covina Mayor Pro Tem Mike Spence and other community leaders announced Wednesday they oppose Senate Bill 54, also called the ‘Sanctuary State” bill because it would shelter violent undocumented criminals from federal immigration authorities.

“If this bill passes then our federal agencies will be fanning out into our local communities.” West Covina Police Chief Dave Faulkner said.

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The bill would, among other things, prevent local and state law enforcement authorities from detaining a person for federal immigration agents. It would not allow local authorities to provide non publicly available information about a person for immigration purposes, and would not let federal agents have access to people in custody.

“It’s the communication aspect of it,” Faulkner said. “It doesn’t allow that line of communication with  our federal partners.”

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Attorney Chris Newman is legal director for the National Day Labor Organizing Network and is backing the bill.

“There’s no doubt that SB54 will enhance public safety,” Newman said.

“The aim of the bill, by walling off criminal enforcement in California from Trump’s deportation force, is precisely to allow law enforcement agents in California to focus on what is their true mission, which is to keep communities safe.”

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SB54 could go to the Senate floor as soon as Monday but as it makes its way through the legislature, there will likely be some changes.