SACRAMENTO -- Critics of controversial sanctuary city policies gathered at the State Capitol Tuesday, along with family members of victims killed by people in the country illegally.
"Somebody who wasn't even supposed to be in our country took his life, so this is the last picture with my son," Agnes Gibboney said.
Gibboney's son was killed by an undocumented immigrant in 2002. She hopes her son's case, and similar cases, will help push new legislation that would defund California's "sanctuary cities."
"Do it the right way. There's a pathway to citizenship," Gibboney said. "Apply. Do it the right way, like everyone else who came to this country legally."
AB 1252, authored by Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach), would also force state and local law enforcement agencies to work with federal agencies like ice.
"The bottom line is this, if we allow criminals to be in our state that are here illegally in the first place, many times we are talking about felons who should have been departed in the first place," Allen said.
Victims' families also came out to speak out against SB 54, otherwise known as the "Sanctuary State Bill" that blocks local and state police agencies from working with federal groups on immigration enforcement.
"SB 54 is based on falsehoods. The first thing is Californians love immigrants. We are a state of immigrants and a country of immigrants," Allen said. "But we are a country of legal immigration."
But Democrats like Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) have a different idea about sanctuary cities. He believes Allen's legislation will fail.
"The Mr. Allen bill is a political stunt. It's not going to go anywhere," Bonta told FOX40. "We're doing the right thing. The threat of funding is threat but an empty threat."
The bill did not pass the committee vote on Tuesday.