U.S. Law Center

Entire state of California may gain sanctuary status

Since President Donald Trump has taken office, the issue of sanctuary cities has been in the spotlight. Sanctuary cities in California and other states are municipalities where law enforcement does not use its resources for the purposes of enforcing immigration laws. If one proposed bill goes on to be signed into law, California will become the first sanctuary state in the country, according to TIME Magazine.

Those who are opposed to the bill point out that immigration falls under the purview of the federal government and an individual state cannot act unilaterally on this issue. Those in favor of the bill argue that it is necessary to ensure cooperation with law enforcement by all people residing in California. The bill passed in the state Senate and will next be up for consideration in the Assembly.

Should the bill go on to become law, it is unclear exactly what repercussions California may face. As the Washington Post reports, President Trump has indicated that one major consequence would be the loss of federal funding. This could hurt law enforcement and other agencies that depend on such monies. While federal immigration authorities could solely take over the job of immigration enforcement in California, that would not make much logistical sense and would divert resources from other areas.

The issue may also end up being litigated in court. The Trump administration could file suit against California to prevent the law from being put into action. At the same time, should the federal government withhold funding from California, the state could then sue. Other states will likely be looking to California to see how this issue plays out.

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