Lawmakers in California passed a landmark bill dubbed "sanctuary state" on Saturday, that will protect immigrants with no legal residency in the US. The bill is seen as a push by Democrats to counter increased deportation orders by the Trump government.

The bill, will among other things, limit communication between state and local law authorities with immigration authorities, according to the latest NBC News reports. This will, in turn, prevent police from holding and questioning people on immigration based violations.

The legislation was authored by Sen.

Kevin De Leon.

Senate Bill 54, as it was later named, was passed by a 27-11 vote after a passionate and sometimes heated debate, and was voted along party affiliations. This was after spirited resistance from Republicans, Sheriffs, and threats from the trump administration against creating sanctuary cities.

Watered down

The bill that was later taken to Governor Gerry Brown for ascent, was scaled back compared to the original version that had been introduced in the house. This came after tough negotiations between Gov. Brown and the mover of the motion, De Leon.

On his part, De Leon said the changes were reasonable and formed a compromise between advocates and law enforcement agencies. He added that the changes did not veer from the primary objective, which was to protect hardworking and law-abiding families that had contributed immensely to the economy.

What the bill says

In the originally proposed bill, state and law enforcement would have been prohibited from using any resources to share information. question or hold people with federal immigration agents. Unless a person had serious or violent convictions.

The negotiated version allows federal immigration authorities to work with state corrections officials and have access to county jails to question immigrants.

Police and Sheriffs are allowed to share information and transfer people to federal immigration officials only if they have been convicted in the past, of one or more crimes, from a list of 800 found in a separate law known as the California Trust Act.


New standards to protect immigration violations will have to be put in place by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, according to the bill.

Also, immigrant inmates will be allowed to receive credit for time served, if they undergo educational programs and rehabilitation while incarcerated.

Access to personal information by immigration agents will be limited and the state attorney general's office will have to come up with recommendations on how to go about that if the bill is signed into law.