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BREAKING: California State Senate Passed TRUST Act

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Major progress in the California State Senate this afternoon. We got the good news via twitter from National Day Labor Organizing Network’s (NDLON) Chris Newman:

This bill is basically the antithesis of Arizona’s SB 1070. It’s designed to ensure that the federal “Secure Communities” program doesn’t continue to sweep up thousands of immigrants guilty of no more than traffic violations and it will restore much needed trust between police and the immigrant community. The bill now has to pass in the Assembly, which should happen today. Then, it will head to the desk of Governor Jerry Brown.

Yesterday, Reuters reported on the TRUST Act in an article titled, In California, immigration bill designed as the “anti-Arizona”:

While America’s debate over immigration has been dominated recently by crackdowns in states like Arizona and Alabama, California legislators are trying to turn that tide with a bill to protect illegal immigrants that they dub the “anti-Arizona.”

More from Reuters:

A bill currently working its way through the California legislature would block local law enforcement from referring a detainee to immigration officials for deportation unless that person has been convicted of a violent or serious felony.

“California cannot afford to become another Arizona,” said California Assembly member Tom Ammiano, the bill’s sponsor. One of the bill’s sponsors, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, calls the effort the “anti-Arizona.”

Critics have argued that Arizona’s law could lead to illegal racial or ethnic profiling of Hispanics in Arizona. Hispanics are the largest U.S. minority group, representing 16 percent of the population.

Supporters of the Arizona law say it is needed because the federal government has failed to secure the border with Mexico.

The California bill, which has the support of over 100 immigrant rights groups, police chiefs and mayors, was drafted not only as a symbolic counter to legislation in neighboring Arizona, but also to push back against a federal program called Secure Communities that shares the same principles as Arizona’s law, supporters say.

Let’s hope Jerry Brown agrees and signs the TRUST Act into law.