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TRUST Act Passes California Legislature

Aired 8/24/12 on KPBS News.

The bill now awaits the governor's signature, and would limit local law enforcement's ability to hand arrested undocumented immigrants over to federal agents.

— The California legislature has passed a bill prohibiting local law enforcement officers from detaining arrestees on behalf of federal immigration officials.

AB 1081, also known as the TRUST Act, passed the state assembly Friday and now goes to the governor for final approval.

It was written by San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano and designed to limit local law enforcement’s ability to hand arrestees over to federal agents for possible deportation.

The bill makes an exception for serious and violent criminals. But other than those, undocumented immigrants arrested for minor violations must be released after serving a sentence, being acquitted, posting bail or being found otherwise eligible for release.

Ammiano introduced the bill to distinguish California from states like Arizona, with its harsh anti-illegal immigration policies. Locally, the bill could affect the way the City of Escondido currently cooperates with immigration officials to deport undocumented immigrants.

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Avatar for user 'RayCA'

RayCA | August 24, 2012 at 5:29 p.m. ― 4 years, 7 months ago

I wonder if the author of this bill realizes that it puts law enforcement officers in conflict with the CA Penal Code:

"834b. (a) Every law enforcement agency in California shall fully cooperate with the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service regarding any person who is arrested if he or she is suspected of being present in the United States in violation of
federal immigration laws.
(b) With respect to any such person who is arrested, and suspected of being present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws, every law enforcement agency shall do the following:
(1) Attempt to verify the legal status of such person as a citizen of the United States, an alien lawfully admitted as a permanent resident, an alien lawfully admitted for a temporary period of time or as an alien who is present in the United States in violation of immigration laws. The verification process may include, but shall not be limited to, questioning the person regarding his or her date and place of birth, and entry into the United States, and demanding documentation to indicate his or her legal status.
(2) Notify the person of his or her apparent status as an alien who is present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws and inform him or her that, apart from any criminal justice proceedings, he or she must either obtain legal status or leave the United States.
(3) Notify the Attorney General of California and the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service of the apparent illegal status and provide any additional information that may be requested by any other public entity.
(c) Any legislative, administrative, or other action by a city, county, or other legally authorized local governmental entity with jurisdictional boundaries, or by a law enforcement agency, to prevent or limit the cooperation required by subdivision (a) is expressly prohibited."

Once again we have a knee jerk reaction by an uninformed member of government.


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Avatar for user 'lucidink'

lucidink | September 12, 2012 at 2:34 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

The fact is, numerous law professors, civil rights agencies, sheriffs and law enforcement officials (no to mention the author, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano) all have one idea in mind in writing the trust act: to protect innocent human beings from being violently exploited by their status as non-citizens. The fact is, all people, illegal aliens and visiting foreigners alike ARE protected by the Constitution, and in as much, they enjoy all that that implies, including but not limited to protection from unlawful search and seizure and unlawful detainment.

To nit-pick one penal code law to use as a defense against an Act that is designed to encourage lawful, nonviolent individuals to report crimes without fear of deportation is silly. There are already dozens of contradictory laws in place across the land when it comes to immigration and search and seizure.

Yes, immigration is a messy subject.
Yes, this law will make it even more complex.
Yes, this law will help protect innocent people from being exploited and/or violently violated.

The fact remains, laws are written by PEOPLE... if the laws do not protect the people they are written for then the laws need to be changed. I ask that anyone in opposition to this Act produce for yourself a compassionate argument as to why these individuals should be allowed to be detained for committing no crime (other than being non-citizens) whilst reporting other, more meaningful, violent crimes. To cooperate with immigration officials is quite a different matter than illegally detaining individuals who have committed no crime other than 'sneaking' into our country. Let local law enforcement document these individuals, then they can pass on that information to Immigration so they can deal with it as they need to. Local law enforcement is NOT being paid by our tax money to do Immigration's job while jailing exploited women who expect the US to protect them from violent crimes. It is local law enforcement's job to Protect and Serve (and not just Americans!).

If a beaten woman cannot be protected by local law enforcement, regardless of her citizenship status, then we are not protecting the basic human rights that we espouse as a liberal, compassionate, democratic, free nation whose interest is to provide equal protection to all peoples within its borders.

"Once again we have a knee jerk reaction by an uniformed member of government. -Ray"

Ray, the truth is, these people spend their lives scrutinizing our laws to make sure they're in out best interests OR in their own interests. To call this is knee jerk reaction is no different than your negative, somewhat disheartened knee-jerk post. We're not protecting ideologies with our Constitution, we're protecting basic human rights <3 Once upon a time it was illegal for blacks and whites to dine together; did we protect the law or the people?

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