California could become the fourth state to remove itself from a controversial federal immigration fingerprint check program, following recent moves by the governors of Massachusetts, New York and Illinois.
The state Senate’s Public Safety Committee has scheduled a hearing next week to consider AB 1081.
The measure would remove California’s 58 counties from the Secure Communities program, which uses biometric data from arrestees in local jails to search for illegal immigrants. Each county would then be free to negotiate its own terms for participating in federal immigration checks.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials contend that local agencies are required to participate in Secure Communities. City and county law enforcement officials send arrestees’ fingerprints electronically to federal immigration agents, then hold identified illegal immigrants until ICE can pick them up.
ICE had taken custody of nearly 72,000 people from California county jails in the past two years, through February. Federal data shows that a third of those illegal immigrants previously had been convicted of a serious offense. However, 28 percent of those booked through Secure Communities had no prior criminal record.
Either you enforce the immigration laws or you change them, but do not ignore them like some “sanctuary cities” in California do. Here is another case where left-wing politicos in San Francisco, a sanctuary city/county for illegal aliens want to ignore federal law. As Attorney General Jerry Brown blocked the San Francisco sheriff from opting out of the immigration program. He argued that the Secure Communities program is not voluntary.
Brown should veto this bill.