As of January 1, a new law in California limits local jails from wastefully holding people for extra time, solely for deportation purposes.
This new law is called the TRUST Act. The TRUST Act will keep families together, save local resources, and enhance community confidence in local enforcement.
Learn more about the new law on this website!
What the TRUST Act does
The TRUST Act sets a minimum standard across the state to limit cruel and costly immigration “hold” requests in local jails. These optional holds are often caused by the deeply controversial "Secure" Communities or S-Comm program. They trap undocumented and immigrant Californians – and even citizens – for extra time, at local expense, just because ICE thinks it can deport them.
The TRUST Act ensures that people with most low-level, non-violent offenses are not wastefully held for deportation purposes. At the same time, it allows holds for most felony convictions and also for those accused of felonies under certain circumstances, along with a number of higher level misdemeanor (or “wobbler”) convictions within 5 years and for certain federal criminal convictions.
Since all immigration holds risk violating the constitution, local governments can and should enact further protections.
Why we need the TRUST Act
By entangling our local police and sheriffs in the machinery of deportation, the federal government has undermined community safety, put survivors and witnesses to crimes at risk, and wasted important local resources. Over 100,000 Californians have been deported through S-Comm alone. Countless families have been broken up, and countless children are now without their parents.
But with the TRUST Act and even stronger local policies, California is forging a new path which President Obama and Congress should quickly follow.
Who will be helped by the TRUST Act?
During the three-year fight to pass the TRUST Act, many courageous undocumented Californians facing deportation spoke out. This includes:
Maria Sánchez of Torrance, currently facing deportation after she was the victim of a fender-bender;
Domestic violence survivors wrongfully arrested after calling for help like Norma and Isaura;
Day Laborers like Jose Ucelo, arrested on false charges from employers unwilling to pay wages owed;
Sacramento tamale vendor Juana Reyes and other food vendors;
Ruth Montano, a Bakersfield mother nearly deported due to a trivial complaint over her small dogs’ barking.
Had the TRUST Act been in effect at the time, none would have been held for deportation.