Monday, October 1, 2012
California Governor Jerry Brown Vetoes TRUST Act
Under California's TRUST Act, law enforcement officials would have been prohibited from complying with ICE detainers except in cases of serious or violent felonies. In a signing statement, Brown noted that the act would have prohibited law enforcement officers from cooperating with ICE where there were convictions for such crimes as child abuse, drug trafficking, selling weapons, and using children to sell drugs. Brown concluded by saying, "I believe it is unwise to interfere with a sheriff's discretion to comply with a detainer issued for people with these kinds of troubling criminal records."
ICE is Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency charged with enforcing U.S. immigration laws. A detainer is a request by ICE to local law enforcement officials to hold a person who was in state or local custody until ICE can decide whether to take the individual into detention to begin removal proceedings.
The bill did raise questions of federalism. That is, under the Constitution, the laws made by Congress in pursuance of the Constitution are the supreme law of the land. The Constitution gives Congress authority to regulate immigration and naturalization. Thus, a law prohibiting a local law enforcement authority from complying with a validly issued ICE detainer would violate the Constitution.
The text of the Governor's statement can be found here.
By: William J. Kovatch, Jr.