San Francisco, CA - December, 04, 2012.
This Afternoon Attorney General Harris issued a bulletin that clarified that ICE hold requests are voluntary in nature and local law enforcement have full discretion to reject submission to them. The announcement comes one day after the reintroduction of the TRUST Act (now AB4). The TRUST Act has received broad support including faith leaders and Congressional representatives and the promise from the Governor to sign a new version this session.  Governor Jerry Brown has pledged to make the TRUST Act a priority for the coming term.  

Reactions from Advocates below:

"Whether someone is subject to deportation as the result of a minor infraction ought not depend on what County the person is in; the Attorney General's guidance demonstrates the need for a statewide policy in the form of legislation such as the TRUST Act," said Thomas A. Saenz. President and General Counsel of MALDEF.

"Attorney General Harris's bulletin affirms the urgent need for the TRUST Act to be signed into law, immediately.   A consensus exists in California that Secure Communities has been a disaster, and it is now clear that the lone voices of opposition to TRUST ACT last year were misguided," said Chris Newman, Legal Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON).  He continued, "It simply makes no sense for California to comply with voluntary requests and to fill jails with peaceful immigrants at state expense, in order to fuel a broken, unjust  federal deportation system."

"AG Harris' acknowledgement that ICE holds are voluntary underscores the need for statewide legislation.  Law enforcement should  not respond to ICE holds because they undercut community policing strategies by making immigrant victims and witnesses to crime fearful of coming forward.  With over 82,000 deportations under S-Comm from California  the need for the TRUST Act is more urgent than ever," explained Angela Chan, Senior Staff Attorney at the Asian Law Caucus.  

Reshma Shamasunder, Executive Director of CA Immigrant Policy Center said: "Today's announcement from California's top law enforcement leaders should eliminate the confusion among some sheriffs about the legal force of detainers. These cruel and costly requests are voluntary. But that alone won't end the suffering of thousands of Californians who are torn from their families each month. The only logical next step is a strong, statewide standard that limits these burdensome requests. The only logical step is the TRUST Act."


Published in Press Releases


“Secure Communities” Immigration Holds Lead to Illegally Prolonged Detentions of Tens of Thousands


(Los Angeles) - Six people have brought a landmark class-action lawsuit against Sheriff Baca and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) on grounds they are or were illegally detained in the jails and stations of Los Angeles County Jail for days, weeks, or months after they were entitled to be released because they are the subject of “immigration holds.”  Immigration holds, sometimes called “immigration detainers,” are notices issued by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) requesting that an individual in local custody be held pending further action.  Unlike warrants, they are issued without any judicial determination of probable cause, and they are frequently issued in error. 

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John Morton's Sympathy Letter to Hate Group
Published in Research & Reports


Washington DC Maintains Bright Line Between Police and Wrongful Deportation Policies 


June 05, 2012. Washington, DC


The Washington, DC Council was praised by a wide coalition of community, faith, and labor organizations for passing the Immigration Detainer Compliance Emergency Amendment Act in response to today’s federally imposed activation of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s controversial "Secure Communities" deportation program.


The act, which was introduced by Councilmember Mendelson, will limit Immigration and Customs Enforcement's use of District facilities and equipment and also narrows S-Comm’s deportation dragnet by only responding to immigration detention requests for individuals who are over 18 and have been convicted of a dangerous crime. Last fall the permanent version of the act, the Immigration Detainer Compliance Amendment, was unanimously co-sponsored by all DC councilmembers. The act builds upon the Mayor’s Order 2011-174 (October 19, 2011) that prohibits all public safety agencies from inquiring about individuals’ immigration status or transmitting information about immigration status.


Sarahi Uribe of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network says, "We're proud to live in a city with a bright line guarding against unjust deportation policies that erode trust, divide our communities, and endanger our families.  DC has joined a growing trend of local governments that care about protecting the safety and rights of their residents.  When DHS Secretary Napolitano spread S-Comm throughout the country, it triggered a movement that is growing stronger by the day to resist and overcome the criminalization of immigrants.” 


32BJ Capital Area Director Jaime Contreras adds: “Secure Communities only leaves us less secure as crimes go unreported and victims go unprotected when immigrants fear the police. City Council members are doing the right thing by passing legislation to preserve community trust and to reduce the number of unjust deportations. Enforcement-only tactics break up families, disrupt businesses, distract local law enforcement and drain local budgets. Congress must pass fair and balanced reform now to ensure immigrants are full participants in our economic recovery”


Jaime Farrant, Executive Director of AYUDA a legal services provider to the immigrant community including domestic violence victims, says:  We salute the DC Council's approval of the Immigration Detainer Compliance Emergency Amendment Act.  We believe that it is a positive step towards ensuring that DC maintains its reputation as a place where immigrants are welcomed and can have the opportunity to succeed in this country. Furthermore, we welcome the measure's desire to guarantee that immigrant crime victims can continue to trust their local authorities, and that they can turn to them for relief and assistance without fear of being punished when seeking help."


Nikki Daruwala, Executive Director, DC Jobs with Justice commented: "Today's passage of the Immigration Detainer Emergency Compliance Act is a major triumph for working people in the District.  It speaks directly to the fundamental importance of keeping our city vibrant and diverse while protecting and advancing the rights of all its residents.  Kudos to the DC Council for coming together in a timely manner to pass this vital piece of legislation."



Published in Press Releases
Wednesday, 23 May 2012 07:17

California TRUST Act with Amendments

Existing federal law authorizes any authorized immigration officer to issue an immigration detainer that serves to advise another law enforcement agency that the federal department seeks custody of an alien presently in the custody of that agency, for the purpose of arresting and removing the alien. Existing federal law provides that the detainer is a request that the agency advise the department, prior to release of the alien, in order for the department to arrange to assume custody, in situations when gaining immediate physical custody is either impracticable or impossible.
This bill would prohibit a law enforcement official, as defined, from detaining an individual on the basis of a United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold after that individual becomes eligible for release from criminal custody, unless the local agency adopts a plan that meets certain requirements prior to or after compliance with the immigration hold, and, at the time that the individual becomes eligible for release from criminal custody, certain conditions are met.
Published in Legislation

  NDLON Calls on Sec. Napolitano to Stop Fearmongering 

and Start Addressing Civil Rights Crisis in DHS Immigration Policy


Chicago, IL. 05.16.2012.

Yesterday, WBEZ released a report on recidivism of individuals released under Cook County's progressive immigration detainer policy, passed in response to dragnet federal immigration programs. The study "finds no evidence that inmates freed from jail against the wishes of immigration authorities reoffend or jump bail more than other freed inmates do."  In response, Pablo Alvarado of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network issued the following statement:

Published in Press Releases

Washington, DC.
Today Washington, DC Mayor Vincent Gray took strong steps to protect district residents from harmful immigration enforcement programs as Santa Clara, CA passed new legislation that leads the nation in setting the standard how to do so. After Santa Clara’s 3-1 vote banning county resources from being used to assist ICE in the enforcement of federal civil immigration laws, beyond what is legally required, Supervisor Shirakawa commented, “Today, Santa Clara County makes it official, we don’t do ICE’s job."

Last year, the two cities were the first in the country to “opt-out” of the discredited Secure Communities deportation program.

Now that the federal government has attempted to force their participation through the legally dubious maneuver of declaring the program as mandatory, cities are registering their opposition by seeking new methods to limit ICE’s overreach into local jurisdictions. DC’s executive order brings new transparency and safeguards to the justice system’s interaction with ICE while Santa Clara voted to decline to use any of its resources to respond to ICE’s civil immigration holds.

Sarahi Uribe, organizer for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, explains, “DC should be proud that our city officials continue to strive to protect all the city’s residents. As a result of the Mayor’s order today, everyone in the city is safer. We’ll continue to work together to keep addressing the risks of harmful immigration enforcement.”
Mackenzie Baris, Lead Organizer with DC Jobs with Justice added, "This is a good step in continuing to ensure there's a bright line between our local police and criminal justice system and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. As our communities face growing threats by expanding ICE interior enforcements we will continue to ensure that families are safe and people rights are protected regardless of their status."

“Santa Clara County is home to a diverse immigrant community and as residents of this county, we believe that all county practices should strive to keep families together and protect the human and civil rights of all people. Therefore, we applaud the Board of Supervisors for leading the way and doing what is right for our county. This policy sends a clear message to immigrant communities that local law enforcement is not ICE,” says Jazmin Segura, Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network.
"Santa Clara County sets a positive example for other localities across the country, first by being one of the first localities in the nation to declare its intention to opt out of S-Comm, and now by passing the most progressive anti-immigration enforcement policy in the nation. This policy demonstrates that local participation in the enforcement of immigration laws is not mandatory and that due process and equal treatment under the law applies to all persons in the U.S.,” said Angie Junck, Staff Attorney with the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.

Similar policies have been implemented in Cook County, IL and San Francisco, CA. A new report released today from the Warren Institute condemning the overreach of Secure Communities validates the cities’ new policies. Santa Clara's new policy can be read at


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