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Memo to California's Gov. Brown: SUNDAY is Deadline for TRUST Act

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A diverse array of voices are making the case for the TRUST Act – a sensible immigration compromise passed by the California legislature that would re-focus state immigration enforcement towards individuals convicted or charged with serious crimes.  Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop Emeritus of Los Angeles, writes an op-ed in today’s Los Angeles Times calling on California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) to sign the TRUST Act into law.  Governor Brown has until tomorrow – September 30th – to sign or veto the legislation.

Cardinal Mahony’s words join a chorus of other voices calling on Gov. Brown to back the TRUST Act.  Earlier this month, 22 members of California’s congressional delegation sent a letter to Gov. Brown in support of the bill, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement ranking member Zoe Lofgren (D-CA).  Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) also wrote a pro-TRUST Act column on Huffington Post that concluded, “We are a nation of opportunity and hard work, not a country who condones an immigration system that separates families and instills fear in communities.  Governor Brown should listen to civil rights organizations, local law enforcement, mayors, legislatures and our communities across the great state of California and sign the TRUST Act.”

Also adding their voices are Lambda Legal, who, along with 23 other LGBT and immigrant rights organizations, issued a letter in support of the TRUST Act, writing that the legislation, “would help restore the much needed trust between people in immigrant communities, including many who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT), and/or who are living with HIV, and the local and state law enforcement officials sworn to protect and serve them.”

New York Times editorial writer Lawrence Downes made a compelling case for Governor Brown to sign the TRUST Act into law, noting that the legislation is “not, by itself, going to solve a grossly dysfunctional national immigration system.  It’s just one state trying to be level-headed and proportionate about who gets deported, which families get split up, and which policing strategies are smartest, most effective and most humane.”

And prominent journalist and immigrant rights activist Jose Antonio Vargas wrote in a CNN.com column that by supporting TRUST, California can become the anti-Arizona on immigration: “As an undocumented American – and I am, in my heart, an American – it is my hope that our nation doesn’t follow Arizona’s discriminatory example.  Will Arizona become the norm, or can we work as a nation to fix dysfunctional immigration policies so that they reflect our best values as Americans?  All eyes are now on California for a key part of the answer.”

However, some of the most powerful words in favor of TRUST come from Cardinal Mahony, whose op-ed is excerpted below.  Click here to read the entire piece:

The last time our nation’s immigration laws got a major overhaul was in 1986, one year after I became the archbishop of Los Angeles. Since then, federal immigration policy has drifted far from the realities facing Americans. Instead of solutions that advance our shared needs and recognize that we are all part of the same human family, we’ve seen a steady uptick in measures that dehumanize our neighbors and separate parents from their children.  In some ways, this month has represented a low point on the long road toward creating more just policies.  Last week, a court ruling allowed Arizona to implement a shameful part of its immigration law, unleashing profiling and discrimination across that state. Meanwhile, a federal deportation program — the misnamed Secure Communities — that mostly sweeps up the innocent and those with minor convictions is hurting our immigrant brothers and sisters across the country.  But if Gov. Jerry Brown signs the Trust Act, which the Legislature passed and sent to him, this month would instead be a turning point….

…Our national conversation about immigration should be driven by thoughtfulness, compassion and, ultimately, love. Not hate.  I am praying that the governor chooses the side of love by signing the Trust Act.

 Time is running out for the TRUST Act! Call (916) 445-2841 and ask Gov. Brown to sign TRUST Act today!