The TRUST Act originally was designed to allow local and state law enforcement to opt out of Secure Communities, which is a program that shares fingerprints of those arrested by local police with the federal government. Essentially, Secure Communities is a tool to increase the number of deportation cases against illegal immigrants. The TRUST Act was going to loosen the reigns; but it fell flat, and Secure Communities was practically turned into a mandate.
Now rewritten, the TRUST Act (which has been called “TRUST Act 2.0” and the “anti-Arizona” bill) has passed the California Senate and will head to the Assembly before it reaches the governor. It appears the immigration bill could go ahead.
The new version of the bill eliminates the “optional” aspect of the bill regarding Secure Communities. In fact, the TRUST Act does not interfere with the way local and federal authorities collaborate to enforce immigration laws and programs. Instead, the bill focuses on the individuals being targeted, making it a law that they cannot be detained (under the premise of an immigration hold) unless two conditions are met.
The first is that the individual must have committed a serious or violent crime. That aligns with President Obama’s new policy of not deporting young people – unless they have committed a serious or violent crime (among other things). The second condition is that the individual can only be held if no local, state or federal laws are violated by continuing their detention.
While it may sound like a small step, the TRUST Act is a key piece of legislation that, if formally enacted, could increase the rights of illegal immigrants who are detained or racially profiled.
Source: Multi-American, “California’s ‘anti-Arizona’ bill clears state Senate,” Leslie Berestein Rojas, July 5, 2012