California Makes History as Nation's First Sanctuary State - NBC Bay Area

California Makes History as Nation's First Sanctuary State

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    California Makes History as Nation's First Sanctuary State

    California made history Monday by officially becoming the first sanctuary state in the nation. Marianne Favro reports. (Published Monday, Jan. 1, 2018)

    California made history Monday by officially becoming the first sanctuary state in the nation.

    While most cities in the Bay Area already limited cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities, some lawmakers say the statewide designation will help all communities fight crime.

    Since 2010, Santa Clara County has elected not to help federal immigration officials round up undocumented people. Starting Monday, the entire state is required to do the same.

    "It's basically saying, 'Look we have DACA youth by the thousands and immigrant workers by the hundreds of thousands, and it is our intention to treat them in the jails like anybody else,'" county Supervisor Dave Cortese said.

    Last year, when President Donald Trump issued an executive order to cut funding from counties that limit cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities, Santa Clara County stood to lose $1.7 billion in federal funding. After fighting the order, a federal judge ruled in favor of the county. Now that the entire state is following the same guidelines, some leaders argue it could strengthen their position in future legal battles.

    Not everyone is onboard, however. Some California sheriff's departments have criticized the new sanctuary state law, saying it will lead to broad roundups that could lead to collateral arrests.

    Supporters say the law will actually help fight crime.

    "It’s appropriate to have this statewide because if people don’t feel they are in a position of trust, then we won't get phone calls to police, and we want those phone calls made and witnesses to testify in court," San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said.

    The new sanctuary state law also establishes schools, public libraries and health facilities as safe zones where people cannot be arrested because they are undocumented, protections that have been almost completely eliminated under Trump.

    Get the latest from NBC Bay Area anywhere, anytime
    • Download the App

      Available for IOS and Android