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U.S. citizen detained by immigration authorities asks California lawmakers to support ‘sanctuary state’ bill

Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

Originally published by LA Times

Jazmine Ulloa

Guadalupe Plascencia told state lawmakers on Tuesday that she was frustrated and humiliated when she was handcuffed and detained in March by immigration authorities in San Bernardino, despite having become a U.S. citizen about 20 years ago.

At an Assembly Public Safety Committee hearing, Plascencia urged legislators to support Senate Bill 54, which would prohibit local and state law enforcement agencies from using resources for immigration enforcement.

She said immigrants deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and pointed to her experience as an example of how immigration laws can be wrongfully applied, even against  citizens.

“I have always lived my life in accordance to the law,” she said. “But when this happened to me, I realized that while laws are important, they are not always applied fairly.”

SB 54 moved out of the committee with a 5 -2 vote. It now heads to the Assembly Judiciary Committee for consideration.

The so-called sanctuary state bill, which was introduced by Senate leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), bans state and local law enforcement agencies, including school police and security departments, from using resources to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect or arrest people for immigration enforcement purposes.

Before the Public Safety Committee on Tuesday, De León said he was continuing to work with law enforcement officials on amendments to ensure the legislation would not hurt their agencies’ participation in federal task forces or hinder criminal investigations, including cases involving terror attacks, drug cartels or human trafficking charges.

Immigrant rights advocates cited Plascencia’s case as an example of the troubling situations that could arise for U.S. citizens at a time when President Trump has pledged to speed up deportations and increase detentions of immigrants in the country illegally.

The 59-year-old hairdresser was taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement after she spent the night of March 29 in jail. She was first arrested on a decade-old bench warrant related to her alleged failure to appear as a witness in a court case.

Read more: www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-updates-u-s-citizen-detained-by-immigration-1497387261-htmlstory.html

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