Immigration advocacy groups call on Sheriff Baca to curb enforcement of Secure Communities

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Activists against Arizona’s immigration law want Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca to support the TRUST Act, a bill that would curb police enforcement of immigration law in California.

The California Assembly plans to take up the TRUST Act again next month. It would require local law enforcement to release arrestees after they post bond, as long as their record contain no serious prior convictions.

The bill would keep undocumented immigrants like Isaura Garcia, a 21 year-old victim of domestic violence, from ending up in deportation proceedings. Last year, authorities took Garcia into custody for calling 911 and let her abusive boyfriend go. Today, she says, she doesn’t trust the police.

“When other immigrants ask me, ‘Should I report that crime? Should I call the cops?' I really don’t know what to tell them," Garcia said in Spanish. "I’d be scared of getting deported, like what almost happened to me.”

The ACLU of Southern California and Sheriff Baca recently commissioned a report that indicated L.A. County holds 2,100 people every day in county jails on immigration hold. Most have no serious criminal backgrounds.

Sheriff Baca has said he doesn’t believe the TRUST Act would fix this trend.

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