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The Assembly Friday passed and sent to Gov. Jerry Brown legislation that would prohibit law enforcement officers from detaining undocumented immigrants for federal authorities when they are released from criminal custody, unless they have a history of serious or violent crime.

"This is a bill that speaks to humanity," Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, said at the close of a heated floor debate on his bill, Assembly Bill 1081.

He and other Democrats said it's aimed at preventing otherwise non-threatening immigrants to go about with their lives without fear of deportation, while Republicans argued that the effect would be to give criminally inclined illegal immigrants a sanctuary.

The 44-23 vote to send the measure to Brown was strictly along party lines, although some members of both parties declined to vote.


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