California lawmakers approve landmark ‘sanctuary state’ bill SB54 to expand protections for immigrants

California lawmakers on Saturday passed a “sanctuary state” bill, SB54, to protect immigrants without legal residency in the U.S., part of a broader push by Democrats to counter expanded deportation orders under the Trump administration.

The decision came hours after a federal judge in Chicago blocked the Trump administration’s move to withhold Justice Department grant funds to discourage so-called sanctuary city policies.
On the Senate floor minutes before 2 a.m. on Saturday, De León said the changes were reasonable, and reflected a powerful compromise between law enforcement officials and advocates.
“These amendments do not mean to erode the core mission of this measure, which is to protect hardworking families that have contributed greatly to our culture and the economy,” he said. “This is a measure that reflects the values of who we are as a great state.”

The bill’s core aim is to limit the ways that state and local officials can cooperate with federal immigration enforcement. Measures range from treating schools and courthouses as “safe zones” to restricting the ability of law enforcement to detain people on behalf of federal immigration officers. Though Brown worked to soften the bill, allowing for more interaction with federal authorities, experts like Santa Clara University law professor Pratheepan Gulasekaram say the measure still provides the most robust “p rotection available for non-citizens anywhere in the U.S.”

Does that mean people in California won’t be deported?

No. Some immigrant rights advocates don’t like the phrase “sanctuary state” because they believe it gives a false impression of the amount of protection California can provide. (Others don’t like it because the word “sanctuary” has become an epithet to many conservatives. And others object to it because they believe it might suggest to undocumented criminals that they’ll be safe from the law in the state.) Nothing in the bill prevents federal immigration authorities from coming into California. But given that the feds have limited resources, their ability to target individuals in the state is lessened when local officials aren’t willing to help.

Why can’t the federal government just force local agents to assist them?

While immigration policy is the purview of the federal government, court cases have found that the federal government cannot force state and local officials to carry out federal laws or simply commandeer local officers and turn them into unwilling deputies. To some extent, the Trump Administration can use money — either as a carrot or a stick — to entice cooperation, which is why the federal Department of Justice has threatened to withhold funds from sanctuary jurisdictions. Cities and counties in California have, however, pushed back on that move in lawsuits.

What about concerns that criminals will slip through the cracks?

That is a criticism that has been voiced by the California State Sheriffs’ Association, which has argued that public safety could be endangered if officials are limited in their ability to work with federal authorities. In some cases, for example, the measure would bar them from alerting immigration officers when an undocumented person has served time for a crime and is about to be released. The bill was amended early on to allow for cooperation in cases that involve violent or serious felonies such as murder, rape, kidnapping and robbery.

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Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education, takes first steps towards dismantling protections under Title IX prohibiting sex-based discrimination.


“All K–12 schools and postsecondary institutions that receive federal funds must designate at least one employee to coordinate their efforts to comply with and carry out their responsibilities under Title IX. These Title IX coordinators ensure that all people affected by sex discrimination in schools — students, parents, and employees — are aware of their legal rights, including how to file a complaint.

Now is also the time for schools to step up and demonstrate that they will do the right thing for their students even in the midst of potential rollbacks from the Department of Education. Considering that 89 percent of college campuses disclosed zero reported rapes last year — despite the fact that we know incidents are far more frequent — we should move forward and build on past progress not walk back current protections.”   AAUW


Santa Maria Valley coordinators:


    708 S. MILLER ST.
    SANTA MARIA, CA 93454

    Mark Muller


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    ORCUTT, CA 93455

    Don Nicholson


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    2560 SKYWAY DR.
    SANTA MARIA, CA 93455

    Tracy Marsh

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     10.39 miles Directions

    800 S. College Drive
    Santa Maria, CA 93454




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Joan Hartmann, SB County Supervisor office in Santa Maria.

Office open Tuesday – Friday.

Located at 511 Lakeside Parkway, Suite 111, Santa Maria, CA  93455.

In the Joseph Centeno Bldg off E. Betteravia Blvd & Centerpoint Parkway.

Contact  Alma 805-346-7210.  


Joan Hartmann, Santa Barbara County Supervisor



Santa Maria Valley Unites against Hate.

Santa Maria and surrounding communities came together August 20th to reject hate and to show

support for the victims of hate crimes in Charlottesville, VA, and demand that all elected representatives speak out against white supremacy and violence.   There is no place in America for racism and neo-nazism.  


More Photos


Candlelight “Vigil for Peace” was held in Santa Maria on August 25, 2017.


A Santa Maria gathering was held at the corner of W. Cook

and S. Broadway Friday evening for citizens who believe that a diverse, rich culture adds to our nation; where people are not excluded due to race, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, disability or financial status.  Send a powerful message of inclusion, not division.  

Stand United against hate & racism.

Scientists are concerned that the Trump White House won’t release climate change study.

The U.S. is already showing signs of the effects of climate change, according to a recent scientific report. (PBS Hour)   Photo with elevated sea levels in 2015.

“Many lines of evidence demonstrate that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse or heat-trapping gases, are primarily responsible for recent observed climate change.”

This report is part of what’s called the National Climate Assessment. It comes out every four years. It’s congressionally mandated. And the larger report, this National Climate Assessment, will presumably come out next year.

So far, many scientists find that there has been very little direction, in fact, from the White House about the report altogether.

Prevent a Trump TV takeover.

Protect our rights to free speech and broadcasting.  Sign the petition to the FCC.

The Sinclair Broadcast Group is not a well-known name, but a shorthand reference for it these days is “Trump TV.”

The Sinclair management style means newscasters across the country are obligated to parrot the same story, without commentary or analysis. Sinclair has tried to evade the rules in the past and has been fined millions of dollars by the FCC for not acting in good faith during negotiations

So much for Sinclair’s “respect for the First Amendment”.

Sign the petition to be presented to the FCC:

Senators Harris and Paul Introduce Bill to Encourage States to Reform or Replace Unjust, Costly Money Bail System

U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced a bipartisan bail reform bill – The Pretrial Integrity and Safety Act of 2017 – to encourage states to reform or replace the practice of money bail, the requirement that people awaiting trial are locked up in jail unless they are able to pay for their release. Across the country, state and local governments continue to have ineffective money bail systems that negatively impact poor people and people of color.
“Our justice system was designed with a promise: to treat all people equally,” said Senator Harris. “Yet more than 450,000 Americans sit in jail today awaiting trial and many of them cannot afford “money bail.” In our country, whether you stay in jail or not is wholly determined by whether you’re wealthy or not – and that’s wrong. We must come together to reform a bail system that is discriminatory, wasteful, and fails to keep our communities safe.”

To learn more about the Senator’s bill, check out this joint Op-Ed by Senator Harris and Senator Paul featured in today’s New York Times.


Help spread the word via social media by retweeting @SenKamalaHarris and tagging@SenKamalaHarris in your tweets and share posts from @SenatorKamalaHarris on Facebook and tag @SenatorKamalaHarris in Facebook posts. Also, be sure to use #BailReform.

Below are sample tweets you can use to help spread the word.
In our country, you may stay in jail even if you didn’t commit a crime – just because you can’t make bail. We need to fix that. #BailReform
Criminal justice reform isn’t a bipartisan issue – it’s a nonpartisan issue. @SenKamalaHarris and @RandPaul have plan for #BailReform. 

Not being able to make bail for a crime you didn’t commit could cost you:your job
your home
your kids

It’s time for #BailReform.

Want to improve Obamacare? HELP AMEND IT.



Need to sign up for CA Care health insurance?  Enroll here:


Help efforts to fix problems with Obamacare and improve health insurance for Americans in the future.  Take Action Now!!  There is a Bi-Partisan caucus in Congress working on fixing problems with the Affordable Health Care Act.  

A coalition of roughly 40 House Republicans and Democrats plan to unveil a slate of Obamacare fixes they hope will gain traction after the Senate’s effort to repeal the law imploded.  Got a Democratic Senator? We’ve still got work to do.  Send support for fixing the AHC and protecting millions of Americans from losing their insurance coverage during the Trump administration term:



Read what California’s position is on Trump’s plan to force Obamacare to “fail”:.

Wipe those smiles off their faces in 2018. They showed their true colors of greed and heartlessness.

WE WON’T FORGET IN 2018.  Donate as little as $1 to help defeat them.


Donate as little as $1 to fund their opponents in 2018.

Photos of Trump and Republican U.S. House of Representatives celebrating their passage of the health bill that would throw tens of millions of Americas off of health care and give billions in tax cuts to the wealthy.  



AAMC Discussion on Senate Health Bill


The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) is a not-for-profit organization based in Washington, DC and established in 1876.

Without coverage, people often delay getting the care they need, turning a manageable condition into a dangerous and costly emergency.
When Congress began considering health care reform, including reforms to Medicaid, the AAMC outlined three key principles we hoped to see included in a reform bill, which we continue to stand behind:
1 It should maintain or improve current levels of health care coverage.
2 It should happen as part of a deliberate and thoughtful implementation process.
3 It should strengthen Medicaid, not weaken it.
Unfortunately, the Senate bill doesn’t include any of these principles. Rather than stabilizing the health care marketplace, this legislation will upend it by crippling the Medicaid program while also placing untenable strain on states and providers.

 AAMC-member teaching hospitals represent only 5% of hospitals nationally, but we see a much larger percentage of patients on Medicaid and who don’t have insurance. We provide 24% of all Medicaid hospitalizations and 33% of all hospital charity care.
We know what so many people losing coverage will look like:
• Patients will delay or forego necessary care, leading to more complex conditions, higher costs and overwhelmed emergency departments
• Costs will increase for all patients due to an increased number of uninsured
• Without corresponding support for the health care safety net, more uninsured individuals would cause a ripple effect on regional health care networks due to a lack of corresponding support
• Teaching hospitals will be forced to limit investments in job creation, critical services, and training the next generation of all health professionals
The AAMC is not against health care reform, but, as medical professionals, we are against health care reform that leads to fewer people having coverage—and lower-quality coverage for people who are insured.