In passing the measure, which would limit California officers’ from cooperating with federal immigration enforcement, particularly the Secure Communities program.
The Trust Act would prohibit police and sheriff’s officials from detaining arrestees for possible deportation unless the suspects have previous convictions for a serious or violent felony. The measure is aimed at blunting federal immigration enforcement, in particular the Secure Communities program, under which fingerprints of arrestees are shared with immigration officials who issue hold orders.
California’s estimated 2.55 million illegal immigrants, The bill follows several months of controversy over whether Secure Communities can be imposed on local jurisdictions, some of which adopted rules to keep local law enforcement separate from immigration enforcement.
The Legislature has approved financial aid for undocumented students and voted to reduce impounds of vehicles driven by unlicensed drivers. “But in California we have a different view.” The California State Sheriffs’ Assn. opposes the legislation, saying that it puts local law enforcement in an untenable position between state law and federal policy.
More than 75,000 people have been deported from California through Secure Communities since the program began here in 2009, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Of those, 19,500 were convicted of misdemeanors, while 12,600 were convicted of non-aggravated felonies or multiple misdemeanors, and 23,500 were convicted of aggravated felonies or multiple other felonies. The rest were not convicted criminals but were considered priorities for deportation for other reasons, such as having been deported previously, ignoring a deportation order or overstaying a visa.
“They deserve better treatment than being rounded up or hounded or being intimidated so that they can’t report criminal activity.” (THEN YOU PAY FOR THEM, NOT US TAXPAYERS)
Under the law, which passed the Senate on a 21-13 vote, an arrestee who is not convicted of a serious or violent felony would be released after serving a sentence, posting bond, being acquitted of charges or otherwise becoming eligible for release, even if immigration officials request that the person be held for possible deportation.