Bill to Extend Protections for Immigrant Witnesses Heads to Governor’s Desk
(Sacramento) Today, after a month long summer break, the legislature convened and sent Assembly Bill 493 to Governor Brown’s desk; asking the Governor to extend protection to immigrant victims and witnesses. AB 493 prohibits law enforcement from detaining a crime victim or witness solely for an actual or suspected immigration violation.
“We need to remove the fear and uncertainty that is rampant in our immigrant communities and provide protection to undocumented individuals when they seek to cooperate with law enforcement on any crime.” said Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer, who chairs the Assembly Public Safety Committee and is the author of AB 493. “By preventing witnesses and victims of crimes from being detained and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), it will help law enforcement with their investigations and will promote social responsibility and improve police community relationships.”
"It is in the best interest of the state to establish firm connections with those in the community and to protect the public from crime and violence by encouraging all persons — victims, witnesses or anyone who provides evidence to assist in a criminal investigation — to cooperate with state and local law enforcement and not be penalized on account of their immigration status," stated Jones-Sawyer.
It is now up to Governor Brown to provide protection to undocumented immigrants, who would like to do the right thing and assist law enforcement in solving a crime and making California safer for everyone.