San Diego ACLU Hails Passage of TRUST Act

Sacramento, CA – Yesterday afternoon, the California State Senate approved the TRUST Act (AB 1081-Ammiano) by a vote of 21-13.

The TRUST Act will ensure that state and local law enforcement agents will focus on protecting the public through building trust with local communities and law enforcement. Ultimately, our communities are safer when law enforcement officers foster transparency and trust between the communities they serve.

“Our State Senate made a clear call to reject racial profiling here in California, and in doing so, set a national example,” said Homayra Yusufi, policy advocate for the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties. “In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to equivocate on the “show me your papers” provision of Arizona’s SB1070, our state senators advanced a common-sense solution to prevent profiling, keep families together, and protect immigrant witnesses and survivors of crimes.”

The TRUST Act heads back to the assembly for a concurrence vote after the summer recess. It is expected to clear that hurdle, and will then be sent to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for his signature.

The bill would create a national model to counter the racial profiling inherent in the one section of Arizona’s anti-immigrant law which the Supreme Court did not strike down last week.  Section 2(B) of Arizona’s SB 1070 requires police to investigate immigration status based on ‘reasonable suspicion.’ The TRUST Act is written to create protocols to guard against racial profiling.

The bill also 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 was originally drafted as a response to the federal “Secure Communities,” also known as “S-Comm,” a deportation program that was described as a parallel to SB1070’s section 2(B) in the Supreme Court decision.  S-Comm has been responsible for deporting more than 72,000 Californians. Seven in ten of those deported from California under S-Comm were deported with either no conviction or for minor offenses. In the worst instances, S-Comm is responsible for placing survivors of domestic violence in deportation proceedings and deterring parents from reporting crimes committed against their children.

The bill has won the support of the California Catholic Conference, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the Police Chiefs of Oakland and Palo Alto, and scores of local officials and community organizations.

Learn more about the San Diego ACLU’s immigrants’ rights work.

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