The Trust Act could quickly become law in California. As of October 1, Governor Jerry Brown still has two weeks to sign or to veto the Trust Act. Under one of its provisions, police officers in California would be barred from helping to deport most undocumented immigrants.
Trust Act: Support and Criticism
Supporters of the Trust Act say the bill helps law enforcement focus more narrowly on the dangerous criminals hiding in undocumented immigrant communities. Critics say the Trust Act would prevent police officers from cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers in a variety of situations.
Historically, Governor Brown has been a voice for immigration reform, but his signature on the Trust Act isn’t guaranteed. When Brown vetoed a similar bill in 2012, he said it contained “significant flaws.” The California Sheriffs’ Association and the California District Attorneys Association both say the Trust Act would conflict with federal immigration statutes.
Current Procedure for Undocumented Suspects
Today, whenever a suspect is booked in a California jail, his or her fingerprints are checked against an immigration database. If the suspect is in the United States without documentation, ICE can order a hold or detainer and have the inmate deported. The current enforcement practices are responsible for “the detention and deportation of thousands of our community,” according to Carlos Montes of the Southern California Immigration Coalition. Under the Trust Act, police in California would not be obliged to honor that detainer for most crimes.
While some attorneys believe the Trust Act conflicts with federal law, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, a former San Francisco district attorney, disagrees. In her view the proposal is “discretionary,” not mandatory.
Sam Shihab & Associates Can Help
If you are an undocumented immigrant facing possible detention or deportation – in California, Michigan, Ohio, or any other state – an experienced immigration attorney will work diligently to resolve your legal problems and help you stay in the United States. Many immigrants have struggled to build prospects and hope in the U.S. for themselves and their families. Don’t let your hard work go to waste.
Like any quality defense attorney, a skilled immigration lawyer will explain your legal options to you, will fight to protect your rights, and will steer you through some complex legal procedures. If you are facing any problem at all with immigration statutes or with your immigration status, contact one of our trustworthy and compassionate Columbus immigration attorneys at Sam Shihab & Associates today.