California is one step closer to becoming a Sanctuary State. Today, eight mayors in San Diego County protested Senate Bill 54 moving forward. Meanwhile, lawmakers continue to work on a second bill to help protect immigrant rights.
The proposal is to help immigrants in California fight against deportation. The bill would create a legal defense program regardless of the defendant's criminal background. Supporters say it would counter anti-immigrant rhetoric from the Trump administration.
A separate bill kept immigrant advocates and local mayors divided at a meeting on Wednesday. Mayors from Poway, El Cajon, Coronado, Escondido, La mesa, San Marcos, Santee and Vista say it would put residents at a risk of danger.
If SB54 passes, they say state and local law enforcement would not be able to notify federal agencies of dangerous criminals being released from jail.
Poway Mayor Steve Vaus says it prevents police officers from doing their jobs.
"Fundamentally, SB54 would sever the lines of communication between local law enforcement and state and federal agencies. Agencies that are charged with keeping us safe and making sure people follow the law. That's bad news," said Vaus.
"If you take away a street cops' radio and they lose communication, its bad. If you take away their communication with other agencies. That's bad too."
Supporters of the bill say it further feeds into discrimination that tears families apart.
"Obviously we all support being safe from rapists and murderers," said Linda Breen. "But what is going on right now is an increase in attacks on innocent people who live here and just want to make a living."
Kilian Colin is a Muslim-American citizen. He says he knows first-hand what it's like to be a victim of discrimination.
"They are trying to do the same kind of bigotry against Hispanic people."
He says SB54 is a step in the right direction.
"Obviously these agencies are using discrimination against people of color, specifically the Hispanic people and will not allow that. Not in my city."
SB54 needs two-thirds vote to pass.