A California Legislator Has Proposed a Bill that Would Restrict Counties and Cities from Working with Technology Companies that Cooperate with ICE and CBP

According to reporting from the Los Angeles Times, California Assemblyman Rob Bonta — a Democratic party representative from Alameda — introduced a new bill that would prevent counties and cities in California from giving new contracts to data companies that work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Here, our immigration lawyer in Los Angeles provides an overview of the most important things that you need to know about this legislation.

Understanding the Proposal: What is Assembly Bill 1332?

The proposed law — Assembly Bill 1332 — is officially known as the Sanctuary State Contracting and Investment Act. Among other things, it puts restrictions on county and city contracting with private companies that provide data services to ICE and to CBP. The bill would give the California Department of Justice the legal authority to fine any jurisdiction that violates the proposed law.

As was noted in the reporting by the Los Angeles Times, a company called Vigilant Solutions — a California-based firm that provides technology and data services to many law enforcement agencies — is one of the primary companies that would be affected by this law. According to a publicly available contract, Vigilant Solutions has an agreement with ICE — it gives the federal immigration enforcement agency full access to its comprehensive national license plate database.

Another company that was cited directly in the Los Angeles Times article is Palantir Technologies. A prominent Silicon Valley firm that is headquartered in Palo Alto, Palantir Technologies has one of the largest contracts with ICE. The technology company helps federal immigration officers access and organize an enormous amount of sensitive personal information about immigrants, their family members, and their social connections. This information is used, in part, to conduct enforcement operations, including raids and deportations.

California Has Considerable Economic Power — Driven Largely By Immigration

California makes up a significant share of the American economy. As was reported by USA Today last year, the state has the fifth largest GDP in the entire world — higher the countries like the United Kingdom, France, and Canada. Much of California’s economic success has been driven by immigration. Notably, some of the state’s most important industries rely disproportionately on the contributions of immigrants. Denying major private data firms contracts with government entities in California could be an effective way for the state to flex its economic muscle in order to help protect the immigrants who made our economic success possible in the first place.   

Our Law Firm Fights for Immigrant Rights in Los Angeles, CA

At the Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, we are proud to be strong, aggressive advocates for immigrants. To schedule a strictly confidential review of your immigration case, please call us. With an office in Los Angeles, we represent clients throughout Southern California, including in Manhattan Beach, East Los Angeles, Compton, and Torrance.