TRUST Act to limit unfair detentions, profiling in California Senate
Sacramento. 06.27.2012 – As the US Supreme Court’s June 25, 2012 ruling on Arizona’s anti-immigrant law continues to spur passionate reactions across the nation, California is moving toward a vote on AB 1081, the TRUST Act, to become the “Anti-Arizona.”
The TRUST Act passed the state Senate Public Safety committee 5-2 on June 12, 2012. Mayor Villaraigosa of Los Angeles explains the bill would “restore [California’s] ability to focus limited law enforcement resources on protecting public safety.” Specifically, the TRUST Act sets a clear, minimum standard for local governments not to submit to burdensome requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to detain people for deportation unless the individual has a serious or violent felony conviction and develops protections to monitor and guard against profiling in the state.
The TRUST Act, sponsored by Asm. Ammiano, creates a national model to counter the racial profiling inherent in Arizona’s SB1070 and sets an opposite direction from 1070’s section 2b, the section the Court did not strike down that requires police to investigate status based on ‘reasonable suspicion.’
Asm. Ammiano explains, “California cannot afford to become another Arizona. The TRUST Act will limit the unjust and onerous detentions for deportation in our local jails of community members who pose no threat to public safety.”
As a recent New York Times endorsing editorial the bill explains, “When every arrest is a potential immigration arrest, people in immigrant communities are afraid to report crimes or cooperate with investigations… Hence the Trust Act… It deserves to become law.”
The TRUST Act was originally drafted as a response to the federal Se Communities program which was described as a parallel to SB1070 sec2b in the Supreme Court case and has been responsible for deporting over 72,000 Californians. 7 in 10 of those deported under Se Communities in the state were deported with either no conviction or for minor offenses. In the worst instances, Se Communities is responsible for placing victims of domestic violence in deportation proceedings and deterring parents from reporting crimes committed against their children.
Supporters of the TRUST Act include the police chiefs of Oakland and Palo Alto, California’s Catholic bis, and a wide cross-section of government officials, immigrant rights advocates, and legal experts