Letters to the Editor

Sanctuary state bill puts lives in jeopardy, Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham says

Jordan Cunningham
Jordan Cunningham dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Regarding the Sept. 12 letter to the editor on Senate Bill 54, the so-called “sanctuary state,” bill:

Immigration is vital to our economy and cultural fabric, but in my view this bill is more political grandstanding than a serious attempt to address a complex issue in dire need of reform.

If signed by the governor, I believe this bill will put the safety of law-abiding residents at risk.

To be sure, I want a state where immigrants can prosper — where people who work hard and play by the rules can get ahead. I’ve worked on a bipartisan basis on constructive changes to immigration policies at the state level, but I cannot support a law that endangers the lives and safety of people in our communities.

As a former deputy district attorney, I know that effective law enforcement requires communication and cooperation between local, state, and federal officials. This bill blocks that communication.

It prohibits sheriffs from contacting federal law enforcement to notify them that an undocumented criminal or suspected criminal is in custody. According to the State Sheriffs’ Association letter, this includes “repeat drunk drivers … those who assault peace officers, serial thieves, animal abusers, chronic abusers of dangerous drugs such as methamphetamine and heroin, and known criminal gang members arrested for most misdemeanor crimes.”

Sensible immigration policy requires that we make informed decisions about which persons should be deported because they are dangerous. SB 54 puts our sheriffs in a no-win situation, ties their hands and makes it more difficult for them to protect our communities.

Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham, Templeton

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