SB 54 — Make California a Sanctuary State

Known colloquially as the ‘Sanctuary State law’ or formally as the ‘California Values Act’, SB 54 is authored primarily by Senate President pro tem Kevin de Leon. The fact that the bill is called the California Values Act is meaningful, as it says something about what immigrants mean to us as a state and how state lawmakers intend to approach immigration under the Trump administration.

Here are the basics (call your rep in favor if you support these general principles):

  • Repeal requirement for state law enforcement to report undocumented immigrants who commit ‘specific controlled substances’ violations to federal authorities.
  • Prohibit state, local, and educational bodies from using resources to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect, or arrest” individuals who haven’t committed a crime for immigration purposes (for example, if someone is providing evidence or is a witness in a crime and hasn’t committed a crime themselves, law enforcement can’t use state money or resources to report them to federal immigration authorities).
  • Require state agencies and the private vendors who collect Californians’ private information to review their confidentiality policies to ensure data collected is only used for the stated purpose. The state would reimburse local bodies for any costs incurred by these provisions.

Who to call:

  • Your state senator. As of Friday, February 3, bill is currently in the Senate Appropriations Committee and needs 2/3 majority of the Senate’s approval to continue on to the Assembly and then to the governor’s desk to become law. If it passes, it will become law immediately, as it’s an urgency statute.

This is the text of the legislation for those who want to know more about the specific provisions.

News coverage of the law:

Looking to do your part? One way to get involved is to read the Indivisible Guide, which is written by former congressional staffers and is loaded with best practices for making Congress listen. Or follow this publication, connect with us on Twitter, and join us on Facebook.

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