Sacramento, CA – Outgoing Governor Jerry Brown defended California’s “sanctuary state law” during a recent exit interview, and argued that it had “nothing to do” with the murder of Newman Police Corporal Ronil Singh.
Cpl. Singh, a 33-year-old married father of an infant son, was fatally shot by an illegal alien during a traffic stop the day after Christmas.
His accused killer, a 32-year-old Surenos gang member who went by the name of Gustavo Perez Arriaga, and whose real name is actually Paulo Virgen Mendoza, had been charged with DUI on two occasions prior to Cpl. Singh’s death.
“Under SB 54 in California, based on two arrests for DUI and some other active warrants that this criminal has out there, law enforcement… was prohibited… from sharing any information with [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] about this criminal gang member,” Sheriff Christianson said.
The California Values Act, known as the “sanctuary state law” or Senate Bill 54, was signed into law by Brown in October 2017.
Officially implemented on Jan. 1, 2018, the law “bars law enforcement officers 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 purpose of enforcing immigration laws,” The Political Insider reported.
Were it not for the law, Arriaga would have been reported to ICE, and never would have crossed paths with Cpl. Singh, Sheriff Christianson said.
“I’m suggesting that the outcome could have been different if law enforcement wasn’t restricted, prohibited, or had their hands tied because of political interference,” Sheriff Christianson reiterated.
During an interview with KXTV, Brown said that California’s status as a sanctuary state for illegal immigrants had “nothing to do” with Cpl. Singh’s murder, because the law had not yet been enacted when Arriaga was arrested for his DUI offenses.
Had Arriaga been convicted of the DUI offenses more recently – after the sanctuary law went into effect – then the situation would have been exactly as Sheriff Christianson described.
Brown used the fact that California wasn’t a sanctuary state when Arriaga was previously arrested to blow off allegations that SB 54 would have prevented law enforcement officers from notifying ICE about Arriaga’s illegal status in the U.S.
“I think people now are looking to blame somebody because of the terrible things that happened, but it had nothing to do with the law of California,” Brown said in the interview.
Instead, Brown blamed ICE for not taking custody of Arriaga when they had the opportunity years ago.
“No one picked him up,” the outgoing governor said.
“He was arrested and brought into jail before the sanctuary law was even enacted, so ICE, the immigration people could have gone out and gotten him. The police and the sheriff could have told the immigration service,” blaming authorities' failure to do what the santuary law now bars them from doing.
Brown said that information regarding when an inmate will be released is public knowledge, and that anyone – including ICE – can obtain such information.
“So, if they put that on the web page, that can easily be available to immigration service,” he said.
The real problem is that ICE isn’t working all that hard to do their jobs, Brown claimed.
“The truth – and maybe this is something that immigration doesn’t like to tell people – they’re not doing all that much,” Brown declared. “Yes, they’re arresting a lot of people that maybe they shouldn’t, but they’re letting hundreds of thousands of people go unhindered either because they’re not staffed properly, or they just aren’t up for it.”
Despite California’s sanctuary status, there are still opportunities for ICE to work with law enforcement “if they take the effort” to do so, Brown added.
Brown was replaced by Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday, the Washington Examiner reported.