CA Gov Vetoes Trust Act to Allow for Continued Detention of Undocumented Immigrants Not Charged with Serious Crimes

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Despite intense lobbying from civil rights, human rights and immigrants rights groups, California Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday, vetoed theTrust Act, which would have kept the state from voluntarily detaining undocumented immigrants who have not been charged or convicted of crimes for retrieval by immigration authorities.

If the bill had been passed, California would only hold undocumented immigrants for 48 hours for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, when, after a fingerprint check, they are determined to have outstanding immigration violations and have been charged or convicted with a serious or violent felony.

Similar detainer bill initiatives to limit voluntary cooperation with ICE have been passed in Cook County, Ill., and the District of Columbia in the past year. Rights Working Group advocated for passage of DC’s detainer bill.

Although the Obama administration has decided that people convicted of minor misdemeanors or have not been charged with crimes should not be the focus of its immigration enforcement efforts, states throughout the country continue to detain people who have not been charged or convicted of serious crimes when ICE issues a detainer request.

Aarti Kohli, senior fellow at the Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy at University of California, Berkeley School of Law, toldthe Associated Press,. "The advocates feel very betrayed. They feel like the immigrant and particularly the Latino community have been behind the governor and that he hasn't really shown a deep understanding of these really serious issues."