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TRUST Act Clears Hurdle

by Christine Stuart | May 14, 2013 1:01pm
(13) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Immigration, Legal, State Capitol

Christine Stuart photo

Supporters of the TRUST Act outside the House chamber

A bill that would prohibit, under some circumstances, any law enforcement officer in the state from telling U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that they detained an undocumented immigrant cleared another legislative hurdle Tuesday when it passed the Public Safety Committee 13 to 7.

Supporters of the measure standing outside the House chamber Tuesday cheered the news.

Ana Maria Rivera, a legal and policy analyst with Junta for Progressive Action, said it’s nicknamed the “Trust Act” because it will restore the trust between law enforcement and the immigrant community.

“Seventy percent of those deported in Connecticut have committed non-violent offenses,” Rivera said.

Last year, out of the 402 people from Connecticut who were deported, 317 either had no convictions or were accused of only a minor offense. The bill would not apply to violent felony offenders.

She said it’s great that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration told the Department of Correction and state police not to honor the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency’s Secure Communities “detainer” requests, but it doesn’t currently apply to municipal police or judicial marshals.

It was judicial marshals who turned over Mexican immigrant Josemaria Islas to federal immigration authorities.

Islas, 35, is originally from Puebla, Mexico. He said he’s been in the United States since 2005. On July 2, 2012, he was arrested for an alleged robbery in Hamden. He was held in jail for nearly four months before he was granted “accelerated rehabilitation” — a kind of conditional dismissal of his case — in November 2012.

Just as he was to be released, judicial marshals handed Islas over to ICE, which had issued a request to detain him. ICE alleges that Islas is a serial violator of immigration laws who has repeatedly entered the country illegally.

Christine Stuart photo

Rep. Gary Holder-Winfield poses with supporters of the bill

ICE issued the detainer request under its Secure Communities program, which ICE argues is a way to target dangerous undocumented immigrants.

But critics in Connecticut believe it breaks up families and undermines the trust between police and immigrant communities.

Juan Hernandez, a district leader for 32BJ, said the bill is important to give the immigrant community some peace of mind that it won’t be deported if it reports a crime to the police.

“It would be a safety net that we don’t have at the moment,” Hernandez said.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Gary Holder-Winfield, D-New Haven, who posed for a picture with supporters Tuesday outside the House chamber.

“The TRUST Act will ensure that we are not needlessly deporting people like Jose Maria Islas —good, hardworking people who could qualify for relief under comprehensive immigration reform possibly this year,” Holder-Winfield said. “The data clearly shows that public safety suffers when local police serve as an extension of immigration agents. We need the TRUST Act in order to improve public safety in the state.”

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(13) Comments

posted by: DirtyJobsGUy | May 14, 2013  1:37pm

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again,  it has to be a nation of laws that distinguishes us from Latin America.  That’s why they are poor and we are wealthy.  If you make laws malleable you are not being kind you are just descending into the kind of offical corruption that kills nations.

posted by: JAM | May 14, 2013  3:45pm

If the State of Connecticut feels it can ignore any valid law it disagrees with, why can’t we do the same with respect to laws they pass?

posted by: Noteworthy | May 14, 2013  8:29pm

It is astonishing to read this stuff, passing laws that make lawbreakers out of law enforcement. That this is called the Trust Act is a farce, especially since Junta proposed it.

posted by: Joebigjoe | May 14, 2013  9:17pm

Unreal. I can understand not saying something for a misdemeanor but I guess illegals getting arrested for felonies gives them special protection. This country is just sick

posted by: cnj-david | May 14, 2013  10:12pm

So, my distinguished legislators want to make sure that illegal aliens are protected against being deported or prosecuted and simultaneously want to pass more gun control legislature so law abiding citizens can pay more fees and have their rights more restricted.

It’s just like reading Alice in Wonderland; fallen down the rabbit hole.

posted by: Keith J Robbins | May 15, 2013  6:30am

I have no TRUST in the Governor or the legislature to cut spending so I will be no longer paying any fees or taxes!! Seems fair to me!

posted by: dano860 | May 15, 2013  7:55am

This is blatant pandering to a small segment of our population. Unfortunately this segment of the population are law breakers, which by allowing this activity to persist, makes the law makers law breakers too!
This is pure political pandering for votes by a pathetic pile of prissy politicians.

posted by: ko4478 | May 15, 2013  8:18am

So a homeless person breaks into your house while your not home, eats your food, maybe turn down the temp. on the A/C lower than you keep it, then racks up a bill on your pay-per -view cable bill. After all that he makes himself a sandwich from your refrigerator.

But hey, he also maybe mows the lawn and washes the car for you.

What do you mean your not going to let the homeless person move in with you? you must be a racist heartless person.

THE FACT IS HE BROKE IN TO THE HOUSE IN THE FIRST PLACE AND THUS NEEDS TO LEAVE!!!

NOW MALLOY WON’T EVEN ALLOW THE POLICE TO BE CALLED TO REMOVE HIM. UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!

posted by: ASTANVET | May 15, 2013  2:13pm

Ok, now I’m confused… we have immigration law, people can follow the law or break it - why are people allowed to choose what laws they follow and what laws they do not?  Illegal is not the same as ‘undocumented’ no matter how many times you say it.  Illegal is illegal.  There is a process - it’s far from perfect, but allowing people to willingly, knowingly break the law is not the way to citizenship.  The State cannot nullify the federal immigration law without going through a process.  All this nonsense about drivers licenses, voting privilages - no deportation - none of these things make Connecticut competitive or do anything to help the economy or well being of the legal, tax paying citizens of the state.  Thanks CGA - you’re backwards again!

posted by: Joebigjoe | May 15, 2013  5:08pm

About 15 years ago a childhood friend was killed by an illegal immigrant who should not have been driving a car. Why is it so difficult for liberals to understand that if someone is here illegally, that most people dont want to send them and their families back if there is a very minor messup like a traffic ticket, but that we want them immediately sent back the second it happens for anything more than that.

In this case the guy had been caught DWI and of course without a license in a prior event, yet he was allowed to stay in this country so he could then devastate my friends family when he broadsided my friend while he was driving. Seriously, asking asking for swift and severe permanent actions against illegals that step out of line must make me racist according to the Governor and other pathetic liberals that cant grasp that concept of we know that you are here illegally but you need to follow a more strict set of living standards or we are going to throw you and your family outta here.

posted by: ko4478 | May 16, 2013  7:05am

Hey JOEBIGJOE,
This is not a partisan issue per se. It is a class issue.The rich in both political parties love the idea of illegal immigrants but for different reasons.

The Republicans love their cheap labor and the ability to suppress wages of natural born citizens. you’ll note “conservative” arguments in congress advocate massive immigration so long as they never gain the ability to be citizens and vote.

That leads to the Dems, who covet the illegal immigrant vote and seek a rapid pathway to citizenship and subsequent ability to vote.

Like so many issues in this country now, as much as people are led to believe otherwise, it really comes down to what the wealthy demand verses what the rest of us need.

posted by: Salmo | May 17, 2013  3:35pm

I just got nailed for Jury Duty. What’s the point? This kind of disgusting pandering is rendering our laws meaningless!

posted by: IOU | May 27, 2013  10:37pm

IOU

what an oxy moron to do something illegal to increase public safety