Sonora, CA – Mother Lode State Senator Tom Berryhill (R-Twain Harte) continues his push to give voters the final say on “weeding out” undocumented violent felons by amending California’s constitution.
Berryhill’s bill would put the issue before voters on the 2018 ballot. The measure would require the state’s Department of Justice to report all persons convicted of a violent felony (Defined here under the state’s current penal code) to federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials for the purposes of identification and deportation following the completion of their prison sentence. Once deported, any person convicted of a violent felony would be guilty of a deportable offense upon their return to California.
Berryhill notes, “Immigration remains an unresolved issue in California – one worthy of a robust debate.” He adds that the bill would also cut off most government assistance programs for the undocumented violent felons and permanently revoke driving privileges, which would remove incentives for them to return to the state.
Berryhill acknowledges, “The vast majority of undocumented immigrants are not criminals. But it only takes one person, one crime, to destroy a family — so one is too many.” He also concedes this bill would affect only a small population of illegal immigrants. Additionally, the bill would need strong bipartisan support from both legislative branches to be put on the ballot.