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Local Progress Responds To Passage Of California Sanctuary State Legislation

“Yet more proof that the strongest immigration policies in the country today are coming from states and cities,” says national network of municipal elected officials


NEW YORK - In response to news that California Governor Jerry Brown had signed Senate Bills 54 and 1289, legislation that would help California keep immigrants safe, Local Progress, a national network of progressive municipal elected officials, released the following statement from Co-Executive Director Sarah Johnson:

""California has taken a powerful step forward today to protect immigrants. The passage of Senate Bills 54 and 1289 is yet more proof that the strongest immigration policies in the country today are coming from states and cities - and that those local victories are growing. SB 54, the California Values Act, will help stop federal immigration authorities from co-opting local governments, saving thousands of immigrants from unjust deportation. SB 1289, also known as the Dignity Not Detention Act, will prohibit local governments in California from contracting with private companies seeking to profit from the incarceration of immigrants. 

These new laws would never have been possible without the leadership of immigrants and immigrant rights organizations across California who have been organizing for a decade to turn their home cities into bastions against mass detention and deportation. The passage of SB 54 also owes much to the local leaders - City Council Members, County Supervisors, and School Board Members - who first pioneered legislation to keep ICE out of their communities, serving as models for hundreds of cities and counties all over the country and paving the way for a landmark state law. 

Today's victory shows that cities and states can be a powerful bulwark against the unconstitutional transgressions of the Trump administration. Today's city council resolution could be tomorrow's SB 54, and there is no city or town too small to start the movement. We will continue to work with local lawmakers in every corner of the country to help move pro-immigrant policies that let all communities thrive." 

A number of Local Progress members spearheaded local pro-immigrant policies that preceded and provided the inspiration for SB 54, including Culver City Councilmember Meghan Sahli-Wells and San Diego Councilmember David Alvarez.

Culver City Councilmember Meghan Sahli-Wells released the following statement:

"This is a proud day for California. Our State Capitol has categorically rejected the Trump administration's textbook racism. Equating immigrants with crime is not backed up by statistics or any facts on the ground. It is simply racist. The police department in Culver City - a sanctuary city - already does an excellent job of keeping our community safe. They use our precious local tax dollars to do their job: fighting crime by building community trust. The federal government wants us to use our money to do their job, but asking for immigration status is not up to local police and it doesn't make our community safer. Now our whole state has stood up for justice. California just called DC's bluff. Its racist policies have no place in our civil society."

San Diego Councilmember David Alvarez also released a statement:

“I have supported SB 54 since its introduction. Its passage is a critical step to ensure all members of our community are protected in their pursuit of the American Dream. Its passage would not have been possible without strong advocates and partners such as Local Progress.”


Media Contact:
Asya Pikovsky, apikovsky@populardemocracy.org, 207-522-2442