Passage Of Ammiano’s Trust Act Heralded As Step Toward Limiting ICE Deportations

Supporters of the Trust Act Monday lauded the governor’s decision to sign the law that aims to limit the criteria for deporting undocumented residents after an arrest.

State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, introduced the now-law, which will limit local law enforcement throughout the state from detaining immigrants on a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold after they are eligible for release.

Under ICE’s Secure Communities program, or S-Comm, a person’s fingerprints are run through a federal electronic database to determine their immigration status. ICE asks for local law enforcement agencies to hold those who are found to be undocumented.

At a teleconference this morning, Ammiano hailed the governor’s decision to take another look at the holding practice occurring at police and sheriff’s departments, and which he said has led to thousands of deportations throughout the state.

“I’m so relieved and so gratified for that signature,” he said.

Ammiano said the passage of the act is only a small step toward “true immigration reform.”

Last year, Brown vetoed an earlier iteration of this bill. In his veto message last October he said the way the bill was written was “fatally flawed.” He said it prohibited law enforcement from holding someone for deportation even if they had a criminal past, including serious offenses like drug abuse or child trafficking.

In the amended bill that ultimately passed, it has been stipulated that a person will not be released from custody if they have been convicted of serious crimes, which are specified under the law and include sexual and drug abuse offenses.

In a news release from the weekend about the passage of the bill along with other immigration-related items, Brown said, “While Washington waffles on immigration, California’s forging ahead. I’m not waiting.”

The new law will take effect on Jan. 1, 2014.

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News

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