Advocates for immigrants have gained ground in their long fight against a U.S. policy allowing federal immigration officials to screen suspects in local jails. Now, reports Stateline, they are close to notching their biggest victory yet. In California, the home of nearly 2.5 million unauthorized immigrants, legislators this month once again passed the Trust Act, which would block local police from holding suspects for immigration agents when they would otherwise be free to go.
Gov. Jerry Brown has until mid-October to decide whether to sign the law. A previous version was reworked to address Brown’s concerns. Other states, counties and cities also have pushed back against the federal immigration enforcement program known as Secure Communities, which has led to the deportation of 280,000 people in nearly five years. “We’re finally seeing the tide turning against the idea that it is good to use police as deportation agents,” said Chris Newman of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, which supports the local limits. Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies, a group that supports tighter controls on immigration, worries the trend will compromise public safety.