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California Lawmakers Block Bill That Would End Sanctuary State Protections for Illegal Immigrant Pedophiles

California Lawmakers Block Bill That Would End Sanctuary State Protections for Illegal Immigrant Pedophiles

California state Assemblyman Bill Essayli speaks at a press conference outside the Capitol in Sacramento on Aug. 14, 2023. (Courtesy of California Family Council)

Travis Gillmore

Travis Gillmore

5/22/2024

Updated: 5/23/2024

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Democratic lawmakers in the California Assembly voted down May 21 a bill that would require law enforcement officials to cooperate with immigration authorities when illegal immigrants are convicted of sexually abusing or exploiting minors.
At issue is Assembly Bill 2641—authored by Assemblyman Bill Essayli—which would have ordered law enforcement agencies to provide information to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) related to such offenders’ release dates. It would have also required transferring such individuals to federal immigration authorities on request, and to detain those on holds if the person is a registered sex offender.
The motion to consider the bill was voted down by 36 Democrats to 14 Republicans who voted to hear it. Twenty-three Democrats didn’t vote and three were absent.
The bill’s author questioned why some lawmakers would choose to block the bill.
“Why does the state of California, and the Democrats who run this place, protect pedophiles?” Mr. Essayli told The Epoch Times after the vote. “They are extremely out of touch when it comes to public safety issues, and they demonstrated that again today.”
He expressed disappointment the bill was not given a hearing after it was referred from the Assembly’s Public Safety Committee earlier this year. That committee refused to hear the bill at all, leading Mr. Essayli to try and bring it, himself, for a hearing by the full Assembly.
“I suspect that they don’t want to admit that their sanctuary state policy has been a failure,” Mr. Essayli said.
As a former federal prosecutor and deputy district attorney from Riverside County, he said there have been multiple recent incidents where illegal immigrants were caught raping children in the Los Angeles area but were not turned over to immigration officials.
“Criminals are running around free in the state of California,” he said.
The assemblyman also took exception to his microphone being silenced and the lack of debate on the floor pertaining to his proposal.
Speaker Pro Tempore Assemblyman Jim Wood silenced his attempt and said his efforts went beyond the rules allowed when making a motion.
“Stop,” Mr. Wood said while cutting Mr. Essayli’s microphone. “You can make a motion, but you cannot talk about it—motions are non-debatable.”
One candidate for assembly said the decision to kill the bill is jeopardizing public safety.
“Our children and families have the right to be safe and secure in their homes, schools, and out in public,” Darren Ellis, a candidate in District 4—which covers four counties northeast of Sacramento—posted May 21 on X in response to the bill’s demise.
With the bill blocked on the Assembly floor, the measure has no path forward this year, given the May 24 deadline for bills to pass their house of origin.
The Epoch Times reached out to several Democratic Assembly members that chose not to vote or voted against the motion, but all declined to comment or did not respond on deadline.
Regarding the scale of the problem the bill sought to address, federal immigration authorities in Los Angeles arrested and deported 26 foreign nationals in a two-day operation in December 2023. Among those arrested was an illegal immigrant convicted of sexually abusing a 14-year-old in state court.
“The outcome of this operation exemplifies the professionalism, dedication and commitment of [ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations] Los Angeles officers to public safety,” Thomas Giles, field office director for the Los Angeles operation, said in a press release at the time. “Removing these individuals and the threats they represent from our communities is our mission, and we will continue to safely and effectively enforce the immigration laws of our nation.”
Nationwide, ICE arrested nearly 47,000 illegal immigrants—with nearly 200,000 combined charges and crimes—during the 2022-23 fiscal year.
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Travis Gillmore

Travis Gillmore

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Travis Gillmore is an avid reader and journalism connoisseur based in California covering finance, politics, the State Capitol, and breaking news for The Epoch Times.

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