California bill could create sanctuary state for non-felon illegal immigrants

“The Trust Act is a good idea for California because we want to position ourselves as the anti-Arizona,” said Angela Chan, a senior staff attorney with the Asian Law Caucus, a San Francisco-based civil rights organization in support of the bill.

California lawmakers are considering a new bill that could create a sanctuary state for illegal immigrants seeking protection from Arizona’s strict immigration law.

The Transparency and Responsibility Using State Tools, or TRUST Act, which is currently making its way through the California legislature, would prohibit local law enforcement from turning over illegal immigrants for deportation except for those with serious felony convictions.

Debate over the bill comes after the nation’s highest court last month upheld the most controversial provision of the Arizona immigration law — requiring local police to check the immigration status of anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally. Federal immigration officials have said they will be selective in responding to those calls and have already moved to shield some categories of illegal immigrants nationwide from deportation, but the provision is still on the books in Arizona.

Critics of the California measure call it a “huge mistake,” even dangerous. But proponents say local law enforcement should not be “entangled” in enforcing federal immigration law.


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