OPINION: The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare numerous issues related to health, equity and justice in our state. One of the most dire circumstances highlighted by the pandemic are the deadly conditions faced by those in immigrant detention facilities in California.
Two California counties profit from a loophole in the “sanctuary state” law, while most others have canceled their ICE contracts under public pressure or let them expire. When California’s sanctuary state law, Senate Bill 54, was approved, the public assumed that local law enforcement would be prevented from cooperating with ICE agents except when dealing with people “convicted of a serious or violent felony,” such as murder, rape, child abuse or battery.
In the fight between President Trump and California over immigration, many wonder whether a state — even one as massive as this one — can successfully confront the White House. Thus far in Sacramento, the answer is yes — from the governor on down.