FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 5, 2013
Gebe Martinez, [email protected], 703-731-9505
TRUST Act: Governor Brown Signs Hallmark Immigration Legislation
LOS ANGELES — Affirming California’s standing as the trailblazer on immigrant rights, Governor Jerry Brown today signed legislation that solidifies civil rights, workplace and education protections for immigrants in the Golden State.
The National Immigration Law Center applauds Gov. Brown for keeping his promise to sign the TRUST Act (A.B. 4), which sets minimum protections for immigrants so that they can live and work safely in the state without fear of law enforcement and deportations. The new law ensures California law enforcement will not submit to requests by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to hold people who have been charged with or convicted only of minor crimes so that agents can buy time to transfer them to immigration authorities.
The governor’s signature on the TRUST Act follows his signing earlier this week of another law that allows immigrants to be issued driver’s licenses regardless of their immigration status. He also signed, earlier, a new law that codifies basic labor rights — such as the right to overtime pay — of domestic workers.
“Nineteen years after California’s Prop. 187, which took our state down the dark road of anti-immigrant politics and policy, Gov. Brown has blazed the national trail for commonsense immigration policies,” said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. Hincapié spoke from Los Angeles, where she was participating in one of more than 180 National Day of Action for Dignity and Respectevents being held across the U.S. in support of federal commonsense immigration reform with a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants.
“The TRUST Act is particularly significant because it turns the state’s immigration policy away from the criminalization of immigrants — given the rise in deportations under the Obama administration — and keeps immigration enforcement in the hands of the federal government, where it belongs,” Hincapié added.
During a recent news conference sponsored by NILC, law enforcement officials from across the country released a letter they sent to Congressin which they opposed the so-called SAFE Act, currently pending in the House, which would essentially force local law enforcement agencies to enforce federal immigration laws. Law enforcement leaders said such efforts would undermine their community policing programs and crime-solving duties.
Hincapié also noted that, while change in California’s immigration policies did not come swiftly, NILC is “thrilled that Gov. Brown finally did the right thing, not only for the millions of immigrants and their families who have long suffered under ICE’s unjust enforcement practices, but for the entire state that benefits from the diverse and hard working population.”
As he signed the TRUST Act, the governor said he was not going to wait while Washington waffles on immigration. “If Congress takes a good look at the common sense approach applied in California, it will quit stalling and pass an immigration reform law with a path to citizenship this year,” Hincapié said.
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