Sunday, September 8, 2013
The Los Angeles Times has weighed in in favor of the California Trust Act, which is awaiting signature by California Governor Jerry Brown. In vetoing a version of the bill last year, Brown explained that it would block immigration authorities from removing some dangerous criminals from teh country. The new TRUST Act awaiting Brown's signature attempts to fix the problems of its predecessor. It would still allow police to hold immigrants convicted of serious crimes, including some misdemeanors, for up to 48 hours while they await transfer to federal custody. But it would prohibit police from detaining those arrested for minor offenses — such as disturbing the peace, street vending, or traffic violations — solely for immigration purposes. This reform has earned the support of local police chiefs and sheriffs who worry that Secure Communities is forcing police to act as immigration agents.
With the assistance and support of Immigration blogger Bill Hing, 51 legal scholars issued a detailed letter to Governor Brown advocating signing the TRUST Act into law. In the letter, the experts urge the Governor to uphold a key feature of the bill as currently written by ensuring that prior brushes with the nation's broken immigration system do not cause immigration "holds" in California's jails.
Former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso in this op/ed elaborates on the case for Governor Brown to sign the TRUST Act.