SAN FRANCISCO—The California Senate Rules Committee approved a measure on Wednesday, August 28 that would make it more difficult for California law enforcement agencies to request for custody of detained accused criminals who are in federal custody.
The measure, SB 57, was crafted by Republican Senators Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) and Shannon Runner (R-Antelope Valley), while being co-authored by Senator Cathleen Galgiana (D-Stockton).
The senators are hoping to prevent easy transfer of a criminal in federal immigration custody to local custody without having an outstanding federal warrant in place. Proof must be provided that the criminal would be prosecuted by the district attorney or general attorney.
Should the local authorities not meet the requirements, the detained person would be kept in federal custody and remain subject to deportation.
The California Senate and House of Representatives must approve the bill with a two-thirds majority vote before it can be sent for approval to Governor Jerry Brown.
A number of the lawmakers supportive of the legislation believe that if a measure like SB 57 already been in place, the shooting death of 32-year-old Kate Steinle may have been prevented.
After being placed into federal custody as a felon, undocumented immigrant Lopez-Sanchez was transferred into the custody of local law enforcement in San Francisco because of a long-standing marijuana case. The case against him was later dismissed.
Under the oversight of San Francisco District Attorney Ross Mirkirami, Lopez-Sanchez was set free by the city of San Francisco in April. In July, he was apprehended after shooting Katheryn Steinle on Pier 14 which led to a debate about local law enforcement agencies handling dangerous undocumented criminals.