CON Opening legal doors for immigrants

California seems to have it all: beaches, celebrities and now, after Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 54 last week, the status of a sanctuary state. Especially in a time when domestic safety is a growing concern, California’s lawmakers should not be putting the safety of the citizens at risk solely to make a political statement in defiance of Trump and his strict immigration policies.

Sanctuary cities, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, have always been criticized over the dangers that they present for citizens. In 2015, Kathryn Steinle was allegedly murdered by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an illegal immigrant who was recently released from jail by San Francisco authorities, despite the Department of Homeland Security urging against it.  In the aftermath of this event, many people began to question the idea of sanctuary cities.

America is a nation built by immigrants, and it’s undeniable that they positively contribute to the cultural melting pot that the U.S. is  so well-known for, but the issue isn’t one of what immigrants can contribute. It’s a question of whether we should be giving protection to those who came illegally, especially at a cost to citizens. When the risks of sanctuary cities are so clear, why spread this threat throughout an entire state?

It should be an immediate red flag that sheriffs all over California are in opposition of the bill because of the dangers it poses on public safety as the bill limits cooperation between local law enforcement and federal agencies, namely U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Not every illegal immigrant is a criminal, in fact most aren’t, but that doesn’t change the risks. SB 54 inhibits federal authorities from doing their jobs and removing the dangerous felons from our communities as the local police departments will no longer be working in compliance with “hold requests” to detain immigrants or using their resources for immigration enforcement.

Sheriffs say that the bill would force immigration officers to go into communities, instead of searching jails, in search of illegal immigrants that they believe to be a danger to the public.

The sanctuary state bill, which will take effect in January, would give protection to immigrants who came through illegal means.

State Sen. Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) proposed the bill because he believes  California’s mission is to “strongly defend family values because we don’t believe a government should separate a mother from her child or any child should be separated from her father.”

Yes, hunting down and removing immigrants who have peacefully settled and made a life for themselves in the United States, and separating families is an unsympathetic act, and arguably unnecessary act, but why encourage any further illegal immigration?

Providing this safe haven for illegal immigrants only increases the tension between state and federal law, and at some point, things will boil over. Instead of fighting policy with policy, our legislative bodies should be working together to create a policy that would allow immigrants to enter the U.S. legally. As long as they are vetted, documented but still welcomed with golden California ideals of “family values” after the process, both sides will be pleased.