In an effort to enforce immigration control where federal statues are failing, more and more states are moving to pass legislation that will allow them to manage immigration control in their own way in the face of federal control challenges. California is joining the ranks of other southwestern states such as Arizona and Texas in creating their own immigration reform legislation designed to provide controls where federal laws have shown weaknesses. Earlier this week, San Francisco officials moved to sever ties with U.S. Immigration authorities and end the practice of enabling deportations by extending the detention of illegal immigrants who have been arrested for crimes.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors moved to enable this legislation, which will garner San Francisco mayor Ed Lee’s signature within the next ten days and would exclude specific violent offenses, ultimately would no longer require local law enforcement to detain illegal immigrants for up to 48 hours beyond their release dates, a practice that has been commonplace since 2008 that allowed the extra time in detention for immigration agents to arrive and take custody of immigrants for possible deportation.
The partnership between San Francisco and U.S. Immigration and Customs enforcement, known as the Secure Communities partnership, has drawn criticism over the past few years from civil rights groups who believe that non-violent immigrants should not face the fear of deportation when reporting crime.