Proposed California Bill to Ban Contracts with Companies Sharing Data with ICE, Border Patrol

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California may soon prohibit cities and counties from doing business with companies cooperating with the Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) and Border Patrol.

On Tuesday, the California State Assembly’s Committee on Justice is conducting a hearing on AB 1332, the Sanctuary State Contracting and Investment Act.

Assembly member Rob Bonta proposed AB 1332, which prohibits California cities and counties from entering into contracts with companies providing ICE or Border Patrol with data broker, extreme vetting, or detention facility services, “unless a state or local agency has made a finding that no reasonable alternative exists.” The bill also prohibits cities and counties from investing in these companies.

 

Bonta introduced AB 1332 in response to President Donald Trump’s 2017 executive order on border security and immigration enforcement. He noted that the President’s order created an increased “fear and insecurity among many immigrants” in California and across the country. Trump “assigned ICE officers with unprecedented powers to target and terrorize immigrant communities.”

The Assembly member believes that California has a “moral obligation to protect its residents from persecution.” He also recognizes immigrants as “valuable and essential members of the state.”

Targeting companies working directly with ICE

Currently, California has several laws protecting immigrant communities including the Sanctuary State Bill (SB 54), which prohibits state and local law enforcement agencies and other local institutions from sharing data with ICE.

Political observers perceive Bonta’s AB 1332 as a step further as it targets companies making profits from ICE including Amazon, Forensic Logic, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Palantir and Thomson Reuters. These companies have active contracts with ICE and play a key role in the agency’s mass surveillance and data collection targeting immigrants across the country.

Several cities surrounding Silicon Valley including Berkeley, Oakland, Alameda and Richmond have legislative proposals similar to Bonta’s AB 1332. These cities want to end contract with companies working directly with ICE to track down people.