TRUST Act: Landmark Law Expected to Decrease Deportations in California
The TRUST Act, a landmark law which is expected to decrease deportations in California and restore trust in local law enforcement, will go into effect this Wednesday, January 1st along with other pro-immigrant measures. These bills are expected to have a significant impact on the immigration debate nationally and improve the lives of immigrants in California.
The TRUST Act will set a clear standard for when local law enforcement may respond to federal immigration detainer requests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by prohibiting detentions of undocumented immigrants for deportation in minor arrests.
In California, since May 2009, ICE has operated Secure Communities (S-Comm), a federal deportation program that uses local law enforcement databases to trap undocumented community members in local jails at local taxpayer expense. S-Comm has been responsible for more than 100,000 deportations in California, resulting in massive family separation and wasteful spending of local resources.
The vast majority of Californians deported through this program have had minor convictions or none at all.
The ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties is part of a local working group of immigrants rights organizations formed to ensure that the TRUST Act is implemented properly in San Diego and Imperial Counties. The group will develop materials and organize a series of educational forums to educate the immigrant community about what the bill means and how this and other bills will affect their rights. They will also monitor the effectiveness of the bill and will document cases of abuse by having a hotline that local community members can call if a loved one has been mistakenly sent to ICE by local law enforcement.
Special TRUST Act HOTLINE: (760) 239-7959
The bill goes into effect amid growing calls for President Obama to follow California’s example and use his considerable executive authority to halt deportations.
The working group includes the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties, Alliance San Diego, American Friends Service Committee, Employee Rights Center, Islamic Center of San Diego, Justice Overcoming Boundaries, North County Immigration Taskforce, the San Diego Immigrant Youth Coalition, and the San Diego Organizing Project.