Authors of the California Values Act, Advocates and Local Leaders Stand In Support of Enforcing Law

Monday, January 27, 2020

Los Angeles, CA – Today, Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) and Senate President pro Tempore Emeritus Kevin De León, authors of the California Values Act (SB 54), along with Mayor of Huntington Park Karina Macias, the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, and victim Jose Maldonado stood together to address the unlawful transfer of undocumented immigrants in certain Southern California cities to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) officials.

“As a proud principal co-author of the California Values Act, I am frustrated to hear that some of our local officers are unlawfully questioning residents about their immigration status and detaining them for I.C.E.” said Assemblymember Santiago. “When this happens, our community stops trusting our officers which compromises our public safety. We will not allow our state resources to be used to further Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda.”

“It is shameful that some law enforcement individuals in California have broken the law of the land – operating as cogs in President Trump’s deportation machine instead of prioritizing public safety,” said Kevin de León, Senate President pro Tempore Emeritus and author of SB 54. “We will not stand by and let the federal government use our precious resources to tear mothers and fathers from their children. When law enforcement breaks the very rules they are sworn to uphold – they must be held accountable.”

“When local law enforcement officers violate SB 54, they are not only breaking the law, but are also separating families and fueling distrust in our communities,” said Li Chia, attorney with the ACLU of Southern California. “Now more than ever, it is critical for our state and local officials to step up and make protecting California’s immigrant communities a top priority.”

Under the California Values Act, local law enforcement officers cannot transfer detained undocumented immigrants to I.C.E. (except in certain cases such as felony crimes). Unfortunately, several Southern California city police departments, including Huntington Park, have been doing so in violation of the law.

Authors of the California Values Act, Advocates and Local Leaders Stand In Support of Enforcing Law

Assemblymember Miguel Santiago is the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Communications and Conveyance and Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Los Angeles County Homelessness. He also sits on the Assembly Committees on Public Safety, Health, Higher Education and Utilities and Energy. He represents the 53rd District composed of the cities of Los Angeles, Huntington Park, and Vernon.