The protection of the people of California should be the number one priority of all elected officials. Its importance rises far above anything else we do, or attempt to do, here in Sacramento, at the county level and in California’s big cities and small communities.
In recent years, the passage of Propositions 109 and 47, and the declaration by some cities that they are not required to follow existing Immigration Laws, have allowed too many dangerous convicted felons, including those in this country illegally, to be set free to roam our streets and commit more crimes, including robberies, assaults and even murder.
Recent examples include Marilyn Pharis, a decorated U.S. Veteran, who was raped, tortured and killed in her Santa Maria home and Kathryn Steinle, who was shot and killed as she walked along a pier in San Francisco with her father by her side.
In both cases these women were allegedly murdered at the hands of men who had long criminal histories, were in this country illegally, and had been released before the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency was notified they were about to be set free, as required by law.
Today I have introduced Senate Bill 417.
My bill will require city and county officials who plan on releasing a dangerous felon, who is in this country illegally, to notify the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency about the release and hold that felon for at least 48 hours. This will give ICE and the federal government time to decide whether or not to take custody of the felon for purposes of prosecution or deportation.
This bill does not target immigrants, legal or not, who are in our state and this country and are working hard to make a better life for their families.
My legislation concerns only convicted felons and dangerous criminals.
If passed, this bill will make our communities safer for working families, senior citizens, children, veterans and everybody else. Law abiding people should feel safe in their communities, and they should not be held hostage to violent felons who continually break the law and force our families to live in fear.
This is common sense legislation that should have wide, bi-partisan support and I look forward to working with by colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the Senate and with members of the Assembly to make California a safer place for us all.
I also urge you to contact your local State Senator or Assembly member to urge them to support this bill. And, if for some reason, they do not support this legislation, please ask them to explain their opposition.
To find your State Legislator visit: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov