Bill bars CA employers from asking about applicants' criminal history

Sep 17, 2017, 00:18
Bill bars CA employers from asking about applicants' criminal history

The bill, which was passed in the senate by a 27-11 margin and cleared the assembly 51-26, limits the ways state and local law enforcement agencies can cooperate and communicate with federal immigration officers.

Governor Jerry Brown says he supports the move that will boost immigrant protections in the state.

Police and sheriff's officials, including jail officers, will still be able to work with federal immigration authorities if a person has been convicted of one of some 800 crimes, mostly felonies and misdemeanors that can be charged as felonies.

California senate leader Kevin De Leon said the changes wouldn't alter the fundamental objective of the law: preventing law enforcement from aiding the Trump administration's deportation crackdown against supposedly non-violent illegal immigrants. The state has limited the ability of police to detain immigrants for federal deportation agents since 2014, and requires jailers to inform inmates if agents are trying to detain immigrants.

The organization put out a release earlier this week, saying that "California's front-line law enforcement officers do not now engage in, and have no intention of engaging in, immigration enforcement in the field".

The bill prohibits law-enforcement from conducting front-line immigration enforcement but allows jail officials to notify federal agents about some people in detention.

"In my view this bill's going to make us less safe", said Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham, R-Templeton. The Republican-controlled body is seeking to bolster federal criminal and immigration law enforcement.

Acting Director Thomas Homan says in a statement Saturday that the legislation "serves to codify a unsafe policy that deliberately obstructs our country's immigration laws".

Assembly members debating the final bills of the year on Friday.

This was the first year of the Legislature's two-year session.

"We hope that it will serve as a model for other states and encourage them to adopt similar protections", said Jenny Pasquarella, immigrant rights director for the American Civil Liberties Union of California.

The bill's passage comes less than a day after a federal judge in Chicago blocked the Trump administration's attempt to withhold grant money from so-called sanctuary cities.

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