How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

California's 'anti-Arizona' TRUST Act is back for another round

Anibal Ortiz / KPCC

A crowd of TRUST Act supporters marched near in the Men's Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles on September 6, 2012, before California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed the bill.

Two months after California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill known as the TRUST Act "as written," a lawmaker is reintroducing it in the Assembly.

Bill sponsor Tom Ammiano, a Democratic Assembly member from the Bay Area, announced Monday that he's bringing back a reworked "3.0" version of the bill. It aims to limit state and local cops' cooperation with federal immigration agents. While it differs from the earlier amended version Brown had vetoed, it's closer in ways to the original bill the legislature voted on in 2011.

The idea of the measure, dubbed earlier this year as the "anti-Arizona bill," is to set limits on who California state and local authorities can hold for deportation at the behest of federal immigration authorites, restricting it to only those with serious criminal convictions on their records.

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Why did Brown veto the TRUST Act?

Ruxandra Guidi/KPCC

Supporters of the TRUST Act rally outside Central Men's Jail in downtown Los Angeles.

After a California bill that would have limited how state and local police cooperate with federal immigration officials was vetoed last night by Gov. Jerry Brown, the focus has now shifted to why.

Yesterday was the deadline for Brown to sign or veto a host of bills, among them two key immigration measures. One was known as AB 2189, which directs the state Department of Motor Vehicles to allow young undocumented immigrants who receive temporary legal status under a new federal program to obtain California driver's licenses.

The other was known as the TRUST Act, a bill sponsored by Bay Area Democratic Assembly member Tom Ammiano that proposed restricting who state and local cops can hold for immigration officials, limiting it to just those with felony convictions or other specified serious offenses. The measure was intended to work around the federal Secure Communities program, which allows for fingerprints of people booked at local law enforcement facilities to be shared with Homeland Security.

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2 key immigration bills are pending on Brown's desk - will he sign?

Anibal Ortiz / KPCC

TRUST Act supporters marched near in the Men's Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday, September 6, 2012. The bill would place restrictions on cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration agents. Gov. Jerry Brown has until Sunday to sign or veto it.

It's going on the end of the week, meaning there's a good chance that California Gov. Jerry Brown may wait until the bitter end to sign or veto two key state immigration bills with a Sunday signing deadline.

The two measures are the TRUST Act, which proposes placing limits on state and local cops' cooperation with federal immigration officials, a bill known as AB 2189, which would direct the state Department of Motor Vehicles to issue driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants who qualify for deferred action, a new federal policy allowing temporary legal status for young people who have been here since childhood.

Brown hasn't given any indication as to when he might make the call on either bill. But there seems to be a stronger chance he may approve the driver's license bill, sponsored by Los Angeles Democratic Assembly member Gil Cedillo. As for the TRUST Act, the tea leaves aren't so clear. 

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California's 'anti-Arizona' immigration bill on way to governor's desk

fingerprint

Art by José Luís Agapito/Flickr (Creative Commons)


A California bill that would limit the extent to which local and state cops cooperate with federal immigration officials is on its way to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk after clearing a final Assembly vote.

Approved in June by the state Senate, the measure nicknamed the “anti-Arizona” bill cleared an Assembly concurrence vote this morning 48-26. Better known as the TRUST Act (it stands for “Transparency and Responsibility Using State Tools”), it has nothing to do with Arizona, but here is what the bill proposes for California:

This bill would prohibit a law enforcement official, as defined, from detaining an individual on the basis of a United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold after that individual becomes eligible for release from criminal custody, unless the local agency adopts a plan that meets certain requirements prior to or after compliance with the immigration hold, and, at the time that the individual becomes eligible for release from criminal custody, certain conditions are met.

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What exactly does the TRUST Act do?

Photo by 888bailbonds/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A Los Angeles County prisoner bus, June 2009.

A measure approved by the California Senate yesterday that some have nicknamed the "anti-Arizona" bill has made headlines today. But some of these have been more confusing than others, so it's time for a brief dissection of what's known as the TRUST Act.

In a nutshell, what the bill does is propose restrictions on the cooperation between local/state law enforcement agencies and federal immigration agents, with its intended goal to shrink the net cast by the federal Secure Communities program. Local and state officers in California would only be able to hold immigrants convicted of felonies and other serious crimes for immigration agents, as opposed to how it works now, where anyone can be held.

What the bill doesn't quite do is "override" Secure Communities, an enforcement program that allows fingerprints of people booked by local and state cops to be shared with immigration agents. Nor does it create a sanctuary state for undocumented immigrants who lack serious criminal records in the sense they might have any sort of protection from the law. Nor does it, beyond the nickname, have anything to do with Arizona.

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