California governor vetoes bill curbing deportation checks

SACRAMENTO Mon Oct 1, 2012 1:34am EDT

California Governor Jerry Brown speaks at a news conference to announce the Public Employee Pension Reform Act of 2012 at Ronald Reagan State Building in Los Angeles, California August 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

California Governor Jerry Brown speaks at a news conference to announce the Public Employee Pension Reform Act of 2012 at Ronald Reagan State Building in Los Angeles, California August 28, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

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SACRAMENTO (Reuters) - California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed an immigration measure dubbed the "anti-Arizona" bill late on Sunday that would shield some illegal immigrants from federal status checks.

The bill would have prohibited local authorities from honoring federal detention requests, which may lead to deportation proceedings, on illegal immigrants unless those individuals were charged or convicted of a serious or violent felony.

Supporters said the measure would have served as a counterpoint for what they say is racial profiling inherent in an Arizona law that cracks down on illegal immigration that was allowed to stand by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this summer.

In his veto message, Brown said that, while he supports comprehensive immigration reform, the bill was "fatally flawed" by exempted individuals who had committed crimes such as child abuse, drug trafficking and selling weapons.

"I believe it's unwise to interfere with a sheriff's discretion to comply with a detainer issued for people with those kinds of troubling criminal records," he said.

Brown's veto sparked ire among immigrant-rights groups who sponsored the measure and had been lobbying the governor to take a lenient stance toward illegal immigrants.

"Governor Brown has failed California's immigrant communities, imperiling civil rights and leaving us all less safe," Pablo Alvarado, executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, said in a statement.

Activists had hoped that Brown would join a small but growing national trend in which communities resisted the information-sharing program between federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and local law enforcement, known as "Secure Communities."


Critics have lambasted the program for placing victims of domestic violence in deportation proceedings and deterring immigrants from reporting crimes committed against them.

"He has doomed thousands of immigrants including domestic violence survivors, food vendors, and people who for minor offenses are separated from their loved ones and detained unjustly in local jails, solely to feed an out-of-control deportation program," Reshma Shamasunder, the executive director of the California Immigrant Policy Center, said.

But the bill's sponsor, Democratic Assembly member Tom Ammiano, said that the federal program has been responsible for deporting over 72,000 Californians, with 70 percent of those deported from the state having either no criminal convictions, or convictions for a minor offense.

If Brown had signed the bill, California would have stood apart not only from Arizona, but also Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and Utah, which have all adopted strict laws in the past two years to try to discourage illegal immigrants from settling there.

However, Brown did sign a measure into law that allows some young illegal immigrants who qualify for a federal "deferred action" program that relaxes deportation rules to obtain driver's licenses.

That measure's sponsor, Democratic Assembly member Gilbert Cedillo, called the move "a victory for those who were brought here through no choice of their own, played by the rules, and are only asking to be included in and contribute to American society."

California has the largest population of undocumented immigrants in the United States, with nearly 2.6 million at the start of 2010, according to government figures.

(Reporting by Mary Slosson; editing by Philip Barbara)

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Comments (13)
AdamSmith wrote:
Shall we try to foretell the future, when we don’t care that the carcass of America is being eaten away in broad daylight by the people other nations, today, on a massive scale?

There is no other country in the world that is allowing foreigners to enter at will, like America has been doing for the last twelve years.

There are giant cities all over the world, brimming with impoverished people and wealthy people, both. All of them, both the impoverished foreigner and the rich foreigner, are being allowed to feast on the carcass of America. The only precedent would be the fall of Rome.

Impoverished immigrants, accustomed to living in slums of giant foreign cities, and mud huts of foreign villages, are flooding into America, willing to work for any wage, and thus driving down American wages.

Seldom mentioned in public is the fact that they have sharply driven up American rents, adding more and more distress to American middle class renters. Young Americans are paying exhorbitant rents in every American city because of the huge influg of immigrants.

But the influx of poor immigrants is only part of the story. The wealthy classes from the same foreign countries (literally all foreign countries) are bringing their ill-begotten money to America and buying up American real estate at an unprecedented rate.

Foreigners are buying not just Manhattan and Miami trophy condominiums, but small properties on, literally, almost every corner in every city and town in America.

The Obama administration is talking about cyber security, but I ask, why? Why do they care about cyber-security when we openly allow the whole world to march in every day and feast on our nation’s carcass?

In whose interest are we governed?

The immigration into America over the last 12 years is the greatest defeat, the greatest destruction to our American lives, our livelihoods and our future, that America has every experienced — far more destructive than if 10 nuclear bombs were dropped on us.

If this failure to protect our borders is not treason, then what is treason?

Oct 01, 2012 1:00am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Ed57 wrote:
For being a rather wild and crazy guy when he was a younger politician, Jerry Brown has turned into a pretty good governor from what I’ve seen recently!

Oct 01, 2012 1:21am EDT  --  Report as abuse
weintrouble wrote:
Well, how about that! Jerry Brown made a wise decision. Good for you Governor Brown.

Oct 01, 2012 1:36am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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