California police chiefs have dropped their opposition to a weakened “sanctuary state” measure that would restrict their interactions with immigration authorities, but sheriffs remained opposed Tuesday saying the measure would still limit their authority to work with federal officers in jails.
Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon’s SB54 originally would have strictly limited the authority for state and local law enforcement officers to cooperate and share information with immigration agents, stepping up statewide sanctuary for people living in the country illegally. It drew sharp condemnation from law-enforcement officials who warned that they’d be unable to work with federal authorities on task forces or ensure dangerous criminals were deported upon release from jail.
With changes announced Monday, it will now allow local officers to transfer immigrants to federal authorities if they’ve been convicted of one of some 800 crimes.
Police chiefs dropped their opposition because the final version will allow officers to collaborate with federal investigations while reaffirming that they “should not be used to assist in mass deportations,” Gardena Police Chief Ed Medrano, president of the California Police Chiefs Association, said in a statement.
The bill is expected to reach the Legislature floor Friday, the Associated Press reports.