The California bill that aims to decrease local law enforcement deportation-related detentions of individuals who are found not guilty of major crimes continues to spark debate.
Known as the Trust Act, AB 1081 is a response to a program implemented in recent years that requires fingerprints of all individuals arrested or booked into custody to be sent to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The program allows ICE to request immigration detentions while legal status is being determined.
The Trust Act would modify this program so that only arestees who have been convicted of major crimes can be detained.
The bill states that: "An individual shall not be detained by a law enforcement official on the basis of an immigration hold after that individual becomes eligible for release from criminal custody," unless that individual has a record of a felony.
Critics of the bill say it may allow for undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes to go unapprehended.
The bill's sponsor, Assembly Member Tom Ammiano, says that the current system is too costly to local law enforcement because the federal government does not cover all detention costs. Supporters of the Trust Act also say that the current system discourages immigrants from reporting crimes.
The bill states: "Immigrant residents who are victims or witnesses to crime, including domestic violence related crimes, are less likely to report the crime or cooperate with law enforcement because any contact with law enforcement could result in deportation, without regard to whether the arrest was wrongful or the result of a mistake."
Next month, the bill moves to the State Assembly for a vote, and if it passes, to Governor Jerry Brown.
Take the Trust Act poll below. Results will be tallied before the bill moves to the State Assembly in August.