The California Senate passed a bill on Thursday that seeks to shield illegal immigrants from status checks by local police and challenges Republican-backed immigration crackdowns in Arizona and other U.S. states.

The Democrat-led state Senate voted 21 to 13 to approve the California Trust Act, dubbed by supporters as the "anti-Arizona" bill. It blocks local police from referring a detainee to immigration officials for deportation unless that person has been convicted of a violent or serious felony.

"Today's vote signals to the nation that California cannot afford to be another Arizona," Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, a Democrat who sponsored the measure, said in a statement.

Read the full Reuters story.

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