Immigrant rights advocates gathered at the State Capitol Tuesday in advance of Friday's bill passage deadline to give one more push to bills that take aim at President Trump's policies, like the Sanctuary State proposal.
Those policies have reportedly created so much fear that Laurie Mason, a Kern County Public Defender, says her clients have become reluctant to share the names of witnesses. "People can help them, alibi witnesses," Mason said, "because they are so afraid of those people coming in contact with ICE. These are people who are willing to sacrifice their liberty to protect the ones they love."
Photo by Ryan Harris, KFBK
One of the bills the group supports would forbid employers from allowing immigration agents access to their facilities and records without a warrant or subpoena. That would be an extra protection for people Sandra Diaz, political director for the Service Employees International Union, claimed are already marginalized and exploited.
"The state should step in and figure out how do we protect these communities at their workplaces, where we know and there's a history that this has happened," insisted Diaz.
The state budget proposal already includes 15-million dollars for immigration services, but the group wants state leaders to triple that amount.