The California State legislature may soon make California the first “Sanctuary State” in the Nation. I want to take a moment to explain what this means for Sacramento County, and how it impacts Rancho Murieta residents. To become a “Sanctuary State,” California will have to violate Federal information laws and limit cooperation with the Federal Government in order to help individuals who are illegally in the country avoid deportation. While the City of Sacramento is a “sanctuary,” Sacramento County is not. This is an important distinction as it is the county that runs the jail and county policies that more directly impact illegal immigrants that have committed additional crimes. If the Governor signs the sanctuary bill into law, the entire State will become a “Sanctuary State” which of course includes Sacramento County and the community of Rancho Murieta. There is a great deal of misinformation floating around regarding the relationship between the Federal government and the Sacramento County Sheriff in regards to this issue. Nobody is bursting into undocumented immigrants homes because of their immigration status. Nobody is checking the immigration status of students in our schools. Nobody is getting deported because they reported a crime, got a traffic ticket, or even committed a minor crime. That’s because the County does not coordinate with ICE, nor do hospitals, schools, or even the Sheriff - except at the jails. When someone is sent to the County jail for serious/violent crimes (drugs, theft, rape, murder, etc.) through the normal fingerprinting, information is shared. Federal ICE Agents then contact the jail to inform them that they have an illegal immigrant. The jail then holds that individual until they have served out their sentence and releases them to the Federal authorities for processing and deportation rather than releasing them back into the community. That’s it. Reducing crime and keeping violent criminals out of Rancho Murieta is an “all-partisan” issue that we are all working toward. I also want to note that without cooperation from local law enforcement agencies, this bill will force Federal immigration officers into our neighborhoods and schools to perform stings which are potentially far more dangerous and upsetting than working from the jail. Further, this bill could deprive Sacramento County from being able to receive grants through the Office of Justice programs, and the Sacramento County Sheriff would lose over $4 million in annual Federal Funding (this bill doesn’t provide the funding that would be lost). The Sheriffs’ department has already been forced to reduce their budget to untenable levels, this bill would further hamper the ability for our law enforcement to keep the streets of Rancho Murieta safe by suddenly stripping funding that places deputies in the community. Thank you for reading – and as always, if you want to contact me, call me at 916-874-5491 or e-mail me at [email protected].