California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a "sanctuary state" bill on Thursday that prevents law enforcement officers from "asking about immigration status during routine interactions."
"It also bans unconstitutional detainer requests and prohibits the commandeering of local officials to do the work of immigration agents," Brown wrote in a statement about the California Values Act.
But Brown, who reassumed office in 2011, said the legislation does not stop Immigration and Customs Enforcement or the Homeland Security Department from complying with federal immigration law in the Golden State.
It also doesn't circumvent access granted by sherriffs to the state's jails to "conduct routine interviews" or "deportation proceedings," the Democratic governor added.
"These are uncertain times for undocumented Californians and their families, and this bill strikes a balance that will protect public safety, while bringing a measure of comfort to those families who are now living in fear every day," Brown said.
While Jennie Pasquarella, ACLU of California's immigrants' right director, praised the action, California's State Sheriffs' Association President Bill Brown said he was discouraged by the gesture.
"We will continue to address the bill's liabilities, which include restricting our communications with federal law enforcement about the release of wanted, undocumented criminals from our jails, including repeat drunk drivers, persons who assault peace officers, serial thieves, animal abusers, known gang members, and other serious offenders," Bill Brown said.
The Trump administration also is concerned about how the law would hinder local law enforcement's ability to work federal authorities in deporting illegal criminals. Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the bill "unconscionable" in September.