The California Senate passed a bill on Thursday that seeks to shield illegal immigrants from status checks by local police and challenges Republican-backed immigration crackdowns in Arizona and other U.S. states. The Democrat-led state Senate voted 21 to 13 to approve the California Trust Act, dubbed by supporters as the “anti-Arizona” bill. It blocks local police from referring a detainee to immigration officials for deportation unless that person has been convicted of a violent or serious felony. “Today’s vote signals to the nation that California cannot afford to be another Arizona,” Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, a Democrat who sponsored the measure, said in a statement. “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,” he added. The bill has the backing of about 100 immigrant rights groups, police chiefs and mayors. It has already passed the Democrat-controlled state Assembly in a 47-26

Read more http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/06/us-usa-california-immigration-idUSBRE86502720120706

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