California Senate Approves SB 183 to Require That Immigration Agents Obtain a Warrant in Courts, Schools and other State Buildings

January 29, 2018

SACRAMENTO, California – Today the California Senate approved Senate Bill 183, authored by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), to protect the delivery of justice, education and other fundamental rights for Californians.

SB 183 requires ICE agents obtain a valid federal warrant in order to detain, question, or perform surveillance on an individual inside a state building.

SB 183 responds to concerns that federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are undermining California’s essential services by using state offices as “bait” to detain undocumented immigrants.

“Federal immigration officials are creating a climate of fear that undermines the fundamental institutions of California’s democracy,” said Senator Ricardo Lara. “Senate Bill 183 guarantees a safe environment so students can attend classes, parents can pick up their children from school, and people can report crimes or go to court without the terror of being targeted by federal agents based on their immigration status.”

California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye sent a letter in March 2017 to federal officials with concerns that immigration agents were “stalking” undocumented immigrants in courthouses.

“Courthouses should not be used as bait in the necessary enforcement of our country’s immigration laws,” she wrote.

California Labor Commissioner Julie Su, whose office has seen a rise in complaints over employers threatening to deport workers who complain about labor violations, directed staff in August 2017 to require that ICE agents have a warrant before entering state offices.

“Trust in government is essential to the security of all Californians, and I refuse to let ICE’s campaign of intimidation erase the efforts of state and local government to bring immigrants and their families out of the shadows,” said Senator Lara.

SB 183 now goes to the Assembly for committee hearings.