Pranksters post fake 'sanctuary state' signs on California border

If California has the power to defy immigration laws, could it secede as well?

He also urged the Justice Department to look into whether state officials can be criminally charged for violating federal law.

"We've got to take these sanctuary cities on, we've got to take them to court, and we have to start charging some of these politicians with crimes", Homan said.

The new law also limits how much state and local officials have to comply with federal immigration detention requests prior to conviction - making California the first "sanctuary state". The measure prevents police from asking people about their immigration status, and it allows jail officials to transfer inmates to federal immigration authorities only if they have been convicted of certain crimes.

The fake signs, made of paper, covered existing signs on Interstate 15 at Mountain Pass, near the California-Nevada border, and along Interstate 40 in Needles, near California's border with Arizona. "Are these sanctuary cities - Can we hold them accountable, are they violating federal law?"

Steinberg was a large proponent of strengthening Sacramento as a sanctuary city for undocumented immigrants and couldn't believe what he was hearing. In October, Brown - a Democrat - signed a "sanctuary state" law in an effort to stymie Trump's push to intensify enforcement by limiting the flexibility for local law enforcement to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. In Texas, for instance, the passage of Senate Bill 4, which would have outlawed sanctuary city policies in the state, was met with fierce opposition that tied parts of the bill up in the courts. That's an alien-smuggling statute.

"If the politicians in California don't want to protect their communities than ICE will", he said.

The new law, which took effect January 1, has triggered a new level of tension between California and the feds and Homan's tough talk is the latest sign that things are heating up. We're going to detail additional enforcement assets to California.

The ICE chief accused Brown of putting politics ahead of public safety, and argued the new policy will make the job of local law enforcement exceedingly more unsafe.

SB-54 forbids local law enforcement to communicate with immigration officials about when a criminal is about to be released from custody, except under special circumstances. The law, which went into effect on January 1, "bars law enforcement officers in the state from arresting individuals based on civil immigration warrants, asking about a person's immigration status or participating in any joint task force with federal officials for the objective of enforcing immigration laws", according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

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