SB54 is a bad state law. It violates the U.S. Constitution that our public servants and elected officials swore to uphold. SB54 interferes with law enforcement efforts by radically prohibiting standard cooperation with federal immigration enforcement agencies when our local law enforcement has someone in custody for a crime of violence or property.
For example, let’s say that a man is arrested for a lewd act upon a child worthy of a Megan’s Law listing. Local police would begin the booking process for charges to be determined. If they discover the man has also illegally overstayed his immigration visa, they would properly notify federal immigration enforcement who could pick the man up for federal detainment until the criminal charges are adjudicated and deportation can occur. This is NORMAL enforcement of both state and federal law. SB54 radically prohibits this normal law enforcement practice.
Local deputies do not run around searching for illegal immigrants. Existing law already prevents victims and witnesses of crimes from being detained for immigration law violation. It is only those charged with other crimes whose immigration status gets reported.
If SB54 is not defeated federal officials will be forced to ‘pound on doors demanding papers’. We will have given them no other choice when looking for dangerous fugitives.
SB54 destroys a healthy cooperative relationship between local and federal law enforcement which has always limited enforcement of immigration laws to those already charged with additional victim-causing crimes. SB54 forces federal immigration officials to find new ways to enforce federal law by actively seeking out illegal immigrants instead of just those already charged with crimes.
Cooperation with federal agencies to ensure all applicable laws are enforced in our community keeps everyone (citizens and non-citizens) safe.
SB54 is destructive. It should be rejected by our city government. Our elected officials are sworn to uphold the Constitution and they have a moral duty to keep our communities safe.
Timothy J. Bond
Thousand Oaks Resident