Continuing our discussion from our last blog post about two important pieces of immigration legislation that had reached their deadlines here in California. AB 2189 was passed by Governor Jerry Brown, allowing undocumented immigrants who were awarded deferred action to obtain a driver’s license. The more headline-grabbing TRUST Act, though, was vetoed.
Designed as a sort of work-around for the Secure Communities program, the TRUST Act would have limited the ability of police to put immigration holds on arrested undocumented immigrants. The individual had to have criminal history that displayed felonies or other “serious crimes.”
That last component is what Brown used as his determining factor for vetoing the TRUST Act. The “serious crimes” that were outlined in the bill had “fatal flaws.” The example he referred to in his veto statement pinpointed drug trafficking, weapons sales, gang activity and child abuse as crimes that were not addressed as “serious.”
Sound logic, certainly; but without the TRUST Act in place, it now means that low-level criminal offenders (or even undocumented immigrants that have committed no crime) can be arrested and unilaterally deported by federal authorities without much of a criminal justice process. There are certain appeals and removal defense tactics that undocumented immigrants can be denied (or simply not told about) when the Secure Communities program is utilized.
Brown says that he is not done with the TRUST Act, and that he will continue to work with legislators and the bill’s supporters to correct the issues with the proposal. In the near future, a reformatted TRUST Act will likely be on the Governor’s desk.
Source: Sacramento Bee, “Jerry Brown vetoes ‘Trust Act’ bill targeting immigration holds,” Jim Sanders, Sept. 30, 2012
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