The Trust Act, Anything, but . . .

Posted on June 4, 2019 by admin


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In 2013, Republicans and Democrats unanimously supported the implementation of the Trust Act, which created guidelines for how police handled arrests of illegal immigrants who were subject to federal civil detainers.  The law was established to create trust between local law enforcement officials and illegal immigrants so people in that community would be more willing to come forward without fear of deportation to report crimes or cooperate with police. The law struck a balance between when to turn over illegal immigrants, namely certain people who pose a risk to public safety, to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Unfortunately, the Democrats have repealed this bipartisan act and now significantly restrict local law enforcement’s ability to hold a criminal illegal immigrant or even communicate with ICE.  Criminal illegal immigrants who have the following charges cannot be detained for ICE and are shielded from deportation: a C and/or D felony charge or conviction; pending criminal charges in the state where bond has not been posted; an outstanding arrest warrant in this state; identified as a known gang member in federal database; subject to a final deportation order; or who local police view as an unacceptable risk to public safety.  After many hours of debate, Republicans successfully negotiated a change to the law that would allow local police to contact ICE if an illegal immigrant has been convicted of a Class A or B felony, such as murder or rape, or is on the federal terrorist watch list.

I cannot comprehend why the Democrats felt the need to restrict law enforcement’s ability to communicate with ICE and elevate the protection of criminal immigrants over the public safety of all residents.  That federal agency has been over-politicized, and politicians fail to recognize the positive things they do to keep us safe.  When the bill passed, advocates chanted in the hallways that illegal immigrants are protected from deportation.  I disagree.  Illegal immigrants are still subject to deportation under federal law.  This law now merely prevents illegal immigrants who are sexual predators, gang members or public safety risks from being detained by local law enforcement.  I guess elections have consequences, and this one may result in someone’s murder or rape.