NLGSF Hails Passage of TRUST Act As Counter to AZ Anti-Immigrant Law

Sacramento, CA – On July 6, 2012, the California State Senate approved the TRUST Act (AB 1081-Ammiano) with a vote of 21-13. Asm. Tom Ammiano (D-SF) is the bill's author; Sen. Kevin de León (D - LA) served as floor manager for the vote and presented the bill to the Senate. In response to the bill's passage, the National Lawyers Guild SF Bay issued the following statement:

After passage of the TRUST Act, we are proud to be Californians. We commend the California State Senate for listening to the will of the people and setting a national example. Instead of the controversial and discriminatory legislation that has marred the reputation of neighboring Arizona, California is standing up for the fundamental human rights of all its residents by advancing a common-sense solution to prevent racial profiling, keep families together, and protect immigrant witnesses and survivors of crimes.

The TRUST Act heads back to the State Assembly for a concurrence vote after summer recess, following which the bill would reach the Governor's desk.

The bill would create a national model to counter the racial profiling inherent in the one section of Arizona's anti-immigrant law which the Supreme Court did not strike down last week. Section 2b of Arizona's SB 1070 requires police to investigate immigration status based on ‘reasonable suspicion,' while the TRUST Act would create plans to guard against racial profiling.

The bill also sets a clear, minimum standard for local governments not to submit to burdensome requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to detain people for deportation unless the individual has a serious or violent felony conviction.

The TRUST Act was originally drafted as a response to the federal "Secure" Communities or S-Comm deportation program which was described as a parallel to SB1070 sec2b in the Supreme Court case and has been responsible for deporting over 72,000 Californians. 7 in 10 of those deported under S-Comm in the state were deported with either no conviction or for minor offenses. In the worst instances, S-Comm is responsible for placing survivors of domestic violence in deportation proceedings and deterring parents from reporting crimes committed against their children.

The bill has won the support of the California Catholic Conference, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the Police Chiefs of Oakland and Palo Alto, and scores of local officials and community organizations.