California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Thursday signed sanctuary state legislation extending protections to immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.
Police will now be forbidden from asking people about their immigration status or participating in federal immigration enforcement activities beginning Jan. 1.
Jail officials will also only be capable of transferring inmates to federal immigration authorities if they have been convicted of specific crimes.
“These are uncertain times for undocumented immigrants and their families, and this bill strikes a balance that will protect public safety, while bringing about a measure of comfort to those families who are now living in fear every day,” he said in a statement.
Some Twitter users on Friday criticized Brown’s decision, arguing it should cost California its federal funding.
California should be stripped of federal funding until they agree to not be a sanctuary state— Doug (@DougSmith05) October 6, 2017
Police, jail officers and sheriff’s officials will remain capable of working with federal immigration authorities if a person has been convicted of one of roughly 800 crimes.
The crimes include mostly felonies and misdemeanors that can be charged as felonies but would not extend to people with minor offenses.
California is America’s most populous state, and it has an estimated 2.3 million immigrants living there without legal authorization.
President Trump’s administration said that the state sanctuary bill will make California more dangerous.
“[California] has now codified a commitment to returning criminal aliens back onto our streets, which undermines public safety, national security, and law enforcement,” Devin O’Malley, a spokesman for the Department of Justice (DOJ), said in a statement.
California Democrats hope the measure will limit the reach of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers.
“[It] will put a large kink in Trump’s perverse and inhumane deportation machine,” Democratic Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon said during a press conference in Los Angeles touting the signing.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.