Cook County Commissioner Jesus Garcia Stands Up to Federal Immigration Policy

LA County Sheriff Lee Baca earlier this month backed off from his controversial position of complying with a federal government request to turn over for detention arrested individuals suspected of being undocumented immigrants. Baca had initially made his position public in the days before Governor Jerry Brown’s veto of the TRUST Act which would have undermined the federal Se Communities program. But, after California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced in early December that local law enforcement agencies need not comply with Se Communities and that any compliance would be voluntary, sick Baca made the dramatic announcement that he would no longer turn over to federal authorities those individuals arrested for minor offenses who are also suspected undocumented immigrants. Baca was sued in October by the ACLU on behalf of suspected undocumented immigrants who were denied bail after being arrested for minor offenses….

Se Communities policy falling out of favor across the US

As the Obama Administration prepares to tackle immigration reform, a part of its current immigration policy is dividing Democrats across the country. Last year, Democratic governors in Massachusetts, Illinois, and New York pulled out of “Se Communities,” even if Immigration and Customs Enforcement — or ICE — insists the program is not optional.  Governor Jerry Brown has not come out against the program but much of the rest of the state would rather not comply. Reporter Amy Isackson explains

Supporters of TRUST Act meet with Governor Brown’s staff for first time

Last September, s Governor Brown vetoed an earlier version of the TRUST Act. At the time he said that the bill was flawed and that it could potentially release immigrants with criminal backgrounds back to the streets.   Since then, Brown has met with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials (ICE), with the State Sheriff’s Association, and now, with immigration activists. There is growing consensus about the need to find a compromise on California’s enforcement of federal immigration laws. State Attorney General Kamala Harris, for example, recently advised local law enforcement agencies to use discretion before they turn over low-level criminals over to ICE. Chris Newman, legal director for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, says he has hope for the governor’s support of the TRUST Act this time around.   “California has the opportunity to do something that is clearly within its legal authority that will also help propel the federal immigration reform debate…