Southern California has an incredibly diverse population that includes immigrants from around the globe. Many people moving from other countries to the United States can find the system of deportation a complex one to navigate and work hard to avoid such action or any other immigration violations. Often, the laws are difficult to understand and can also change frequently.

In early October, California’s Governor signed into law a new bill, the Transparency and Responsibility Using State Tools Act, also called the Trust Act, is intended to make it harder for the federal government to process deportations for illegal immigrants that have committed minor crimes or no crimes at all. The governor’s assertion is that a prior collaboration between the state and the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement department was to aid in immigration detention and deportation only for those people who commit serious crimes but that it has been misused, resulting in many innocent people being deported.

In 2009, the state joined ICE’s program called Secure Communities. It allowed the federal agency to fingerprint arrested immigrants and resulted in nearly 20,000 being transferred from Los Angeles county responsibility to ICE and approximately 12,000 people being deported. Estimations for the new law indicate that between 10,000 and 20,000 deportations could be prevented.

If you or a loved one is in need of a deportation defense or other assistance regarding immigration, you may consider speaking to an immigration attorney. This can help you better understand the laws and keep yourself and your family protected.

Source: Aljazeera America, “While feds stall, California advances immigration reform,” Dorian Merina, October 16, 2013