SANTA ANA (AP) — California sheriffs are divided over a bill aimed at protecting certain illegal immigrants from deportation.

Some say if Gov. Jerry Brown signs the measure they’ll be forced to choose between enforcing it or abiding by a conflicting federal mandate.

The Trust Act passed by the Legislature would limit the state’s participation in the federal Secure Communities program, which checks the immigration status of people who are arrested. The program is touted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement as a vital crime-fighting tool but reviled by immigrant advocates who say it erodes immigrants’ trust in police.

The legislation would prohibit local law enforcement officials from detaining arrestees while ICE checks their immigration status unless the person is suspected of a serious or violent felony.

Brown hasn’t said if he will sign it.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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