California Values Act (SB 54)

California Values Act (SB 54)

Ice out of California: Support SB-54
Ice Out of California: Support SB-54! #CAValuesAct

California Values Act protects Californian families, and ensures state and local resources not be used for mass deportations.


About the California Values Act (SB-54)

From ICE Out of California:


The California Values Act will protect the safety and well-being of all Californians by ensuring that state and local resources are not used to fuel mass deportations, separate families, or terrorize our communities. The bill will provide essential safeguards to ensure that police, schools, health facilities, courts, and the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement remain accessible to Californians from all walks of life and that California’s limited resources are directed to matters of greatest concern to state and local governments.


Immigrants are an Essential Part of California: More than one in four Californians are immigrants and half of the children in California have one immigrant parent. Immigrants have deep roots in our neighborhoods and communities. A relationship of trust between California’s immigrant residents and our state and local agencies, including police, schools, and hospitals, is essential to carrying out basic state and local functions. Any efforts to carry out mass deportations of California residents would be devastating to our state, and would inflict a terrible cost on our families and our communities.

Entangling Local Law Enforcement Agencies with Immigration Enforcement is Harmful: California is already familiar with the harmful effects of entangling local law enforcement agencies with immigration enforcement. Prior to its termination, the discredited “Secure Communities” program (S-Comm) operated in California as an indiscriminate mass deportation program at great cost to California both financially and otherwise. According to a report prepared by Justice Strategies in 2012, when the Secure Communities program was still active, California taxpayers spent an estimated $65 million annually to detain people for ICE.1

The entanglement of local law enforcement agencies and immigration enforcement also has a tremendous cost to public safety. According to the President’s Taskforce on 21st Century Policing, “Immigrants often fear approaching police officers when they are victims of and witnesses to crimes and when local police are entangled with federal immigration enforcement. At all levels of government, it is important that laws, policies, and practices not hinder the ability of local law enforcement to build the strong relationships necessary to public safety and community well-being. It is the view of this task force that whenever possible, state and local law enforcement should not be involved in immigration enforcement.”2 A study conducted by the University of Illinois similarly found that 44 percent of Latinos are less likely to contact police officers if they have been the victim of a crime because they fear that police officers will use this interaction as an opportunity to inquire about their immigration status or that of people they know.3

California’s Resources Cannot be Commandeered to Carry Out Deportations: California cannot be compelled to use state and local resources to detain and deport its immigrant residents.4 In fact, federal law explicitly prohibits such “commandeering” of state and local resources to implement federal programs.5 This is particularly true where implementation would interfere with the State’s ability to protect the safety and well-being of our residents.


The California Values Act will ensure that state and local resources are not used to fuel mass deportations, separate families, or spread fear throughout our communities.

Under the California Values Act:
1. State and local law enforcement agencies and school police and security departments will not engage in immigration enforcement. No state or local resources will be used to investigate, detain, detect, report, or arrest
persons for immigration enforcement purposes. And regardless of whether state or local resources are implicated, no state or local law enforcement agency will detain or transfer any person for deportation without a judicial warrant.
2. California schools, health facilities, courthouses, and the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement will remain safe and accessible to all California residents, regardless of immigration status. Each shall establish and make public policies that limit assistance with immigration enforcement to the fullest extent possible consistent with federal and state law.

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  1. See Judith Greene, “The Cost of Responding to Immigration Detainers in California,” Justice Strategies Report, August 22, 2012. 

  2. Final Report of the President’s Taskforce on 21st Century Policing (May 2016). 
  3. Insecure Communities: Latino Perceptions of Police Involvement in Immigration Enforcement, Nik Theodore, Dep’t of Urban Planning and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago (May 2013) 
  4. See, e.g., Galarza v. Szalczyk, 745 F.3d 634, 644 (3d Cir. 2014)
    (“[i]mmigration officials may not compel state and local agencies to expend funds and resources to effectuate a federal regulatory scheme.”); see also Attorney General Kamala Harris, “Responsibilities of Local Law Enforcement
    Agencies Under Secure Communities,” Information Bulletin, Dec. 4, 2012
    (“[I]mmigration detainers are not compulsory. Instead, they are merely requests enforceable at the discretion of the agency holding the individual arrestee.”) 
  5. See, e.g, Printz v. United States, 521 U.S. 898 (1997) 
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