CA Senate approves TRUST Act (U-T San Diego)

A state bill intended to limit local detention for deportation of certain undocumented immigrants who do not pose a threat to public safety was approved by the state Senate Thursday.

The TRUST Act, or AB 1081, was authored by Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco. The two-year bill was approved by the assembly last year and was presented to the Senate this week by Sen. Kevin de Leon, D – Los Angeles. It is expected to be approved again by the Assembly after the summer break and will then go before Governor Jerry Brown.

The “vote signals to the nation that California cannot afford to be another Arizona,” said Ammiano. “The bill also limits unjust and onerous detentions for deportation in local jails of community members who do not pose a threat to public safety.”

The bill was written to counter Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Secure Communities program. The program requires local police agencies to share fingerprint information with federal immigration authorities. Under the proposed law ICE would still review fingerprints but local agencies would not hold individuals longer than they would normally for the immigration agency unless the person has serious or violent felony convictions.

Critics of the proposed law say it would mark California as a “sanctuary state.”

Limited state and local resources and the disproportionate number of non-criminal offenders deported under Secure Communities program prompted Ammiano to pursue the Act.

According to Ammiano’s office, Secure Communities has led to the deportations of more than 72,000 people in California and of those 70 percent did not have convictions or had committed minor offenses. Among the deported have been victims of crimes or domestic violence as well as food venders who did not have licenses to sell.

“This important measure is crucial to keep our communities safe,” de Leόn said. “By promoting trust between immigrants and local law enforcement we ensure that victims of domestic violence and other crimes are not afraid to seek justice.”