AB 4 prohibits state and local law enforcement from honoring U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers unless the arrested illegal alien has been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor that is punishable as a felony – and even in that instance, the bill grants local law enforcement the discretion to ignore the detainer. If California enacts legislation that orders local law enforcement agencies to ignore ICE detainers, state and local jails will have no choice but to release these criminals – criminals who have no right to be in the United States – back onto the street.
“AB 4 would abolish any last vestige of immigration enforcement in a state already reeling from years of sanctuary policies, lax enforcement and expanding benefits for 3.2 million illegal aliens,” charged Dan Stein, President of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). “AB 4 is a dangerous and irresponsible bill, and there is no reason – none – that could ever justify Governor Brown allowing it to become law. Signing it may represent the point of no return for the rule of law in California and set a precedent for other states.”
AB 4 – like its predecessor AB 1081, which the Governor vetoed last year – blatantly thwarts federal intent by choking off cooperation between state law enforcement and ICE. In 2012, former ICE Director John Morton stated his opposition to the anti-detainer legislation. In a letter to FAIR, Morton warned that jurisdictions that ignore ICE detainer requests undermine public safety in their communities, noting that his agency has documented serious crimes committed by deportable aliens who have been released rather than handed over to ICE.
“On this 12th anniversary of 9/11, the lessons of lax immigration enforcement and its catastrophic consequences appear utterly lost on the California legislature,” Stein continued. “While all illegal aliens are obviously not terrorists, many terrorists apprehended on U.S. soil have, in one form or the other, breached our immigration laws. AB 4 would increase the risk that dangerous criminals and potential terrorists are released back onto the street if they were arrested for minor offenses.”
FAIR urges Governor Brown to veto the legislation.
Founded in 1979, FAIR is the country’s largest immigration reform group. With over 250,000 members nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests. FAIR believes that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.