San Francisco - Yesterday afternoon, the California State Senate approved the TRUST Act (AB 1081-Ammiano) with a vote of 21-13. Assemblymember Tom Ammiano is the bill's author; Sen. Kevin de León served as floor manager for the vote and presented the bill to the Senate.
"We congratulate the California Senate on its leadership in passing this legislation, which is a model for states seeking to reject Arizona's approach of immigration-based policing," said Julia Harumi Mass, staff attorney for the ACLU of Northern California. "The TRUST Act will protect against racial profiling and allow our local police to do their jobs and focus on public safety."
The bill sets a clear, minimum standard for local governments not to submit to burdensome requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to detain people for deportation unless the individual has a serious or violent felony conviction.
The TRUST Act is a response to the federal immigration program "Secure Communities" ("S-Comm"). The federal government billed S-Comm as a program aimed at identifying serious criminal aliens for deportation, but 7 out of 10 of those deported under S-Comm in California had either no conviction or were only convicted of minor offenses. 72,000 Californians have been deported under the program. Victims of crimes and U.S. citizens are among the many individuals who have been targeted and detained under S-Comm.
The TRUST Act heads back to the State Assembly for a concurrence vote after summer recess, following which the bill would reach the Governor's desk.