LOS ANGELES (CBS) — California lawmakers were one step closer on Friday to passing legislation that would limit law enforcement from implementing federal immigration law.
But as KNX 1070’s Margret Carrero reports, one local law enforcement official said Assembly Bill 1081 is completely unnecessary.
San Francisco Democratic Assemblyman Tom Ammiano said he wrote AB1081 because the federal Secure Communities program that requires local law enforcement to check the immigration status of an arrestee wastes resources and erodes trust.
Under the bill, officers would only refer people convicted of serious felonies to immigration officials. They would no longer detain lower-level offenders on immigration holds.
“We think that the bill addresses very important issues of reform, especially around the detention of people without due process,” said Ammiano.
AB1081, known also as The Trust Act, passed 21-13 Thursday on party lines and moves to the Assembly. If approved, the bill could be on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk as early as August.
But the legislation faces stiff opposition from law enforcement agencies statewide, including the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which has worked in cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents since the Secure Communities program began in 2008.
“When there is a legal detainer that is requested in our jails by another law enforcement agency, we are bound by federal law to honor it,” said Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore. “But that doesn’t mean that the Sheriff is not always looking to make things better.”
The bill has been dubbed “anti-Arizona” legislation, a reference to Arizona’s “show me your papers” law recently upheld by the Supreme Court.
(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)