On September 10, in a shocking attempt to undermine public safety and to erode federal immigration law enforcement, the California Assembly passed AB 4, the so-called TRUST Act.
AB 4 would prohibit state and local police from honoring U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers in all but the most extreme cases. An ICE detainer advises law enforcement that ICE seeks custody of a criminal alien for arrest and removal. However, if ordered by the state to ignore ICE detainers, local jails must release criminals back onto the street where they could continue their lives of crime. Remember that aliens have already broken U.S. immigration laws and have no right to be in the country.
If signed by Governor Jerry Brown, AB 4 would severely restrict California’s participation in Secure Communities, a database-sharing program that helps identify criminal aliens. Although the California Assembly and civil rights organizations consider Secure Communities a threat to family unity and error-prone, former ICE director and immigration advocate John Morton called it “the future of immigration enforcement” because it “focuses our resources on identifying and removing the most serious criminal offenders first and foremost.” [U.S. Identifies 111,000 Immigrants with Criminal Records, by Julia Preston, New York Times, November 12, 2009]
When it comes to subverting federal immigration law, California’s tenacious government never gives up. Last year, Brown vetoed AB 1081, similar legislation, and wrote that he could not support the bill because it would bar local cooperation even when the arrested alien has been convicted of child abuse, drug trafficking, illicit weapons resale or gang involvement.
Then, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano rewrote AB 1081, now identified as AB 4, to allow local authorities to hold aliens previously convicted of those crimes. The dangerous AB 4 is on its way to Brown’s desk.
We influenced the governor last year to kill AB 1081. Call Brown today at 916-445-2841 to urge him to do the same and, in the name of public safety, veto AB 4.