New York Lawyer's Legal Updates

Two Extremes: California's TRUST Act And Arizona's Immigration Law

Author: Law Office of Alena Shautsova

The California Senate passed AB1081, called the TRUST Act. This bill seeks to prevent law enforcement officials from referring undocumented immigrants to Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) unless the courts convict the individual of a violent crime or felony. The nickname for this bill is the "anti-Arizona law." It opposes the provision that the U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld in Arizona's law that allows police officials to check immigration status of detained immigrants.

ICE's Secure Communities policy states that the federal government's limited resources should be used to remove immigrants who pose a threat to public safety or who are repeat immigration offenders. Under S-Communities, ICE set up programs with local communities like the one in operation in Escondido, CA. Escondido California currently works directly with ICE, and ICE agents even have offices within the Escondido Police Department. As it stands, local law enforcement agencies across the country share information with ICE, the FBI, and Homeland Security on fingerprints and other information.

The CA bill would limit local police collaboration with ICE by focusing only on offenders convicted of serious felonies. If the bill passes and California's governor signs the bill, then local law enforcement would no longer be permitted to work with ICE unless a serious felony conviction exists.

Proponents contend that the bill guards against profiling and unnecessary and wrongful detainment. Opponents argue that undocumented immigration drives up medical costs, prison costs, state welfare programs, and other expenses that lead to state insolvency.

It remains to be seen how this bill will play out, if passed, and the effect it may have on the evolving U.S. immigration laws.

If you are dealing with immigration issues, consult New York lawyer. Our law firm keeps its finger on the pulse of ever-changing immigration laws and a knowledgeable lawyer can help protect your rights.

17 August 2012
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