L.A. County Sheriff Comes Out Against ‘Sanctuary State’ Legislation

You can add the leader of the nation’s largest sheriff’s department to the growing list of law enforcement officials opposing California’s proposed ‘sanctuary state’ legislation.

In a letter to Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), who introduced the legislation, Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said the bill would not only jeopardize safety, but would put L.A.’s immigrant communities at even greater risk of deportation. By blocking local law enforcement from transferring inmates with immigration violations into federal custody, Senate Bill 54 would invite federal officials into L.A. communities in search of the individuals instead. During their quest to apprehend them, “they will most surely cast a wide net over our communities apprehending and detaining those not originally the target of the enforcement actions,” McDonnell wrote.

The Sheriff also said that a 2013 law protecting immigrant inmates from federal immigration authorities unless they have been convicted of serious crimes is already sufficient to prevent “over-detention” of undocumented immigrants. Senate Bill 54, meanwhile, would allow some violent felons to slip under the radar upon their release from jail.

De León added amendments to the legislation on Friday in an effort to address some of these concerns. You can read more about those here