California's Senate passed a bill late Monday that would make the state a "sanctuary state," under which local and state law enforcement agencies would be prohibited from using their resources to help federal immigration officials.
The legislation, Senate Bill 54, passed despite last week's announcement by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions that sanctuary jurisdictions risk losing federal money. During the Senate debate, the bill's author said he wasn't deterred by Sessions' remarks.
“We’re the great state of California. We don’t grovel and put our hand out so we can get a little budget money, so we can buy a police car," said Kevin de León, a Democrat. "That’s not who we are as a great state. Our role and responsibility is to protect all individuals and make sure our communities are safer.”
But critics like Republican Sen. John Moorlach said California can’t afford to anger the federal government.
“California has a very precarious budget," he said. "It has major unfunded liabilities. It has major retiree medical expenses. It has severe infrastructure concerns. We just don’t need to jeopardize a funding source from the federal government.”