The Fresno County Democratic Central Committee has not endorsed any candidate in this race.
Once again, California leads.
This week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the California Values Act into law. Given the amount of attention the bill, now law, has received, it’s important to be clear about what the bill does and does not do.
The new law ensures that local law enforcement officers are not given the additional responsibility of enforcing federal immigration laws — that’s the job of federal agencies. The law also maintains California schools, hospitals, libraries, and courthouses as safe spaces for all Californians.
The bill does not prevent federal authorities from enforcing federal laws in the State of California.
Why is the California Values Act a good idea? First, as we once again discuss and debate immigration policy for our country, I believe we should lead with our hearts and values, and that means treating humanely the millions of immigrants who have come to the United States in pursuit of the American Dream.
From a public safety perspective, it makes all the sense in the world. I recall my days on the Los Angeles City Council appreciating law enforcement’s perspective. If a victim of a crime or a key witness to crime chooses to not come forward or cooperate with the police for fear of being deported, that is not good for public safety.
Why take the time to explain? I felt it important because there’s a lot of misunderstanding or misperception about the California Values Act. The better we understand and explain to our friends and families, the better for civic discussion.
California is the most populous State in the nation and home to more immigrants, documented and undocumented, than any state in the nation. California is also the largest economy of any State in the nation, so we know a thing or two about the contributions of immigrants, documented and undocumented, to our economy.
On the issues affecting immigrants and their families, as with so many issues critical to the future of our country, California has a responsibility to lead, both by example and with public policy. It is time for the country to come together in support of a comprehensive and humane immigration reform.
California Secretary of State