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Illegal Immigration: ‘California Cannot Afford To Be Another Arizona,’ Lawmaker Says

Detaining non-criminal undocumented immigrants on the California taxpayer's dime is too costly, Sacramento has decided.

On Thursday, the state Senate approved legislation that would prohibit local law enforcement agencies from detaining an undocumented immigrant for deportation at the request of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) if that person is eligible for release from criminal custody.

Assembly Bill 1081, otherwise known as the Trust Act, passed in the Senate with a 21-13 vote. In May 2011, the bill passed in the State Assembly 47-26.

“The bill ... limits unjust and onerous detentions for deportation in local jails of community members who do not pose a threat to public safety," said Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), the bill’s lead author. “[The] vote signals to the nation that California cannot afford .”

The immigration detentions "are a drain on local resources" because state and local law enforcement agencies are not reimbursed by the feds for the , according to the legislation's text.

AB 1081 would still allow immigration detainers to be placed on people who have not been released from criminal custody or have a serious or violent felony conviction.

AB 1081 will next come back to the State Assembly for one concurrence vote following summer recess before heading to the governor’s desk.

ICE Western Regional Communications Director Virginia Kice said Friday that her agency does not comment on pending legislation, but she did forward an ICE statement. According to Kice, when a detainer is issued, the local law enforcement agency is asked by ICE to maintain custody of the undocumented immigrant for a period not to exceed 48 hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.

The cost of keeping people in custody due to the ICE detainers is being compiled by Ammiano’s office, according to the assemblyman’s spokeswoman Misa Yokoi-Shelton. She said the cost to Riverside County was not immediately available.

Ammiano’s office contends the Trust Act was introduced in February 2011 as a response to the federal "Secure Communities" or S-Comm deportation program, which the assemblyman describes as a parallel to . Under S-Comm, the FBI automatically sends fingerprints to ICE to check against its immigration databases. If the checks show a person is in the country illegally,

Angela F. Chan, senior staff attorney at the Asian Law Caucus, a nonprofit civil rights organization located in San Francisco, said S-Comm encourages racial profiling by law enforcement.

"About 76 percent of the 2,460 residents deported under the S-Comm program from Riverside County are individuals without criminal records or those arrested for lesser offenses, including misdemeanors and traffic violations," Chan said.

Seventy-two thousand people in California have been removed from the country under S-Comm and seven in 10 were deported with either no conviction or for minor offenses, Ammiano's office contends.

ICE defends S-Comm.

Secure Communities has proven to be the single most valuable tool in allowing the agency to eliminate the ad hoc approach of the past and focus on criminal aliens and repeat immigration law violators,” according to the information provided by Kice. 

“Since ICE implemented Secure Communities in Oct. 2008 (through April 30, 2012), the initiative has resulted in the removal of 189,744 persons (nationwide). Nearly 75 percent of those individuals (141,005) had prior criminal convictions,” Kice's statement read. ( to read about ICE's defense of its policy.)


TVOR July 09, 2012 at 04:12 AM
Great, let's just keep them sucking up public resources as long as we can huh?
Brenda July 09, 2012 at 08:09 AM
Yep, and that is certainly more costly then sending them back to Mexico like back in the old days when I was a kid. Always saw the big white school buses loaded with them driving down the 5 freeway back to Mexico. A bottle of water a little gas, they are in Mexico in 2 hours or less. Get em off public resources, and dang the medical alone to squirt out all those trophy babies must also cost us a fortune and a half. All the spanish speaking teachers we have to employ and have twice as many classes, with nearly twice as many kids in them, while at Xmas time the kids sing all the songs in Spanish. Sorry I did not sign up for the United States of Mexico in USA. Anyone watch Vanguard and see the thousands that come across each night or day in the USA? Where they are picked up by coyotes, how much the pregnant women have to pay and young girls because they will be sure to get aid faster. Then them get caught and the next night they are right at it again, and we have 4 Border patrols covering this huge 100+ mile strip or border to try and catch them? These guys have guns, shoot at our border agents, the agents are having to be the ones hiding. What sense does that make? I would be so easy with all our soldiers to station a certain amount in each state to do nothing but get the illegals out. KEY WORD ILLEGAL, and that is what everyone keeps forgetting, these politicians included. THEY ARE HERE ILLEGALLY, end of discussion, and since when do WE not get to vote???
JJ Mclure July 09, 2012 at 01:23 PM
It cost more to keep arresting them, it puts the public in danger when the cops have to chase them and it ties up Paramedics when they have to respond to a 911 call because they guy stabs his girlfriend. If ICE won't take them, then drop them at the border yourself.
Bob Garrett July 09, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Latino illegals just come back if they have any initiative, any work skills, can speak English, and can talk themselves into a job. I know an excellent butcher who was deported 8 times his first 3 years in the US. it usually took him 3 or 4 months to come back and each time he relocated to another city. "Just my dumb luck to have gotten into a fist fight when I was 18. Now I keep my head down better, but I'll come right back if they run me out again. I'll start my life over every time. It's extremely difficult to have a good living standard in Mexico and be an honest guy. You scrape along no matter how hard you work because it's a system of bribes and paying off gangsters. You can't go to the police because they're part of it."
D. Porter July 09, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Comrade ObaMao's equally corrupt AG Eric Holder sued Arizona soon after Gov. Brewer signed SB1070 into law. California, having the most vile a treasonous legislature of any state in the nation, could just get away with this.
Samantha July 09, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Pathetic....any other Federal laws we should be ignoring that we should know about?
Jerome July 09, 2012 at 11:59 PM
This country stinks. I give up . . . I read all these comments and there is no way these politicians speak for the "majority"
Jerome July 10, 2012 at 12:00 AM
This country stinks. I give up . . . I read all these comments and there is no way these politicians speak for the "majority"
Popeye July 10, 2012 at 03:47 AM
Ha ha...Tea Baggers got to pay!!!!
Jeff Walters July 11, 2012 at 05:42 AM
People really need to stop worring about who gets offended and for what reason. Arizona did what they had to do and so should CA. The Fds won't do anything about it, so we the people need to. The Arizona Bill is no different thanthe Federal Law that is not being upheld. In fact, Arizona added words and phrases to help "stop" racila profiling where the Federal law doesn't. So stop the B/S and if you din't like it, get out. My family can't, this is the only country we have left.

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