CA TRUST Act crucial to curbing ICE abuses

2013.2.20 – In response to data released today by Syracuse University’s TRAC program analyzing nearly 1,000,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) hold requests made to local jails in the President’s first term, the Asian Asian Law Caucus, California Immigrant Policy Center, and National Day Laborer Organizing Network jointly issued the following statement.

TRAC’s findings also come as anger continues to grow over revelations from recently released Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents obtained from ICE, which underscore aggressive tactics to meet the agency’s deportation quota. 

Over the past two years, we’ve heard a litany of claims from ICE that the agency is taking new steps to “prioritize” its resources to focus on only the most serious cases for deportation. Yet nothing ever improves on the ground. In the name of “Se” Communities, many contributing community members such as day laborers and domestic violence survivors languish for extra time in local jails, at ICE’s request, after minor or wrongful arrests. 

Now, it is clearer than ever that ICE’s parade of pronouncements – from summer 2011 right up to this winter – has merely served as a smokescreen for a massive deportation dragnet.

More than 77% of the people ICE issued holds for in the past four years hadn’t been convicted of any crime. The agency even issued holds on 800 US citizens. All this, to meet an exorbitant deportation quota that directly contravenes the mandate for immigration reform with a roadmap to citizenship that voters clearly expressed in November.

Enough is enough.

It’s time for California, which has suffered more deportations than any other state, to set a positive example for the nation. Our state must pass the TRUST Act (AB 4- Ammiano), which will curtail cruel and costly detentions of aspiring citizens in local jails. Swift passage of the TRUST Act will propel meaningful immigration reform forward – and rein in the abuses of a federal agency which has spun completely out of control. 


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