One nice thing about a vetoed bill is that you can keep coming back until you get it right. That’s what’s happening in California with the so-called Trust Act, which would limit the circumstances under which local law enforcement offices would work with federal authorities to detain immigrants who are here illegally. The bill would assist in a more humane immigration policy by limiting the current zealous enforcement of deportations.
Rallies of undocumented immigrants took place in the Capital and at Governor Brown’s office. The Trust Act was passed previously but vetoed by the Governor last year. He said that too many criminals would be exempt from deportation. The bill also intends to restore a degree of integrity to the stability of immigrant families that have reportedly been ripped apart by over-zealous law enforcement against immigration violations.
The current bill has been re-written to accommodate some of Brown’s concerns and to decrease certain deportation defenses that might be considered by state law enforcement in making their decisions. Brown’s office indicated it was working ‘constructively’ with the bill’s supporter and other stakeholders. The groups in favor of increased state acceptance of immigration violations in order to stabilize families and decrease the rush of deportations want to meet with Brown, including undocumented individuals within their ranks.
The California Governor is not buying into that plea but he has authorized his staff to set up meetings with the groups. As immigration reform inches toward some kind of resolution in Washington, despite conservative obstructionism, the California forces gain some strength in credibility. It may be that this time around the Trust Act will be given some element of trust by the governor. The Act appears consistent with the expected immigration reform to be passed federally, which will drastically decrease the numbers of deportations and usher in a new policy that will open a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Anti-deportation bill advances as immigrants rally,” Chris Megerian, July 2, 2013