A U.S. Border Patrol agent at a crossing point in San Ysidro, Calif. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP-Getty Images)
A U.S. Border Patrol agent at a crossing point in San Ysidro, Calif. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP-Getty Images)

A bill barring police from turning over undocumented immigrants to federal authorities is back in front of Gov. Jerry Brown.

The governor vetoed a similar measure last year, but in the final week of this year’s legislative session, the Assembly and Senate passed a new version on party-line votes.

The measure’s supporters, led by San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, its sponsor, call the bill the Trust Act. It keeps police from detaining people and turning them over to federal immigration officials unless they’ve been convicted of serious crimes.

Last year Brown called the measure “fatally flawed.” He said its definitions would have allowed people with serious crimes on their record to walk.

This session’s version, which Ammiano’s staff says the Brown administration weighed in on, includes a list of violent, gang-related and sexual crimes for which police could detain undocumented immigrants and alert the federal government.

Ammiano urged Brown to sign the bill, arguing deportation policies have gone too far.  “Federal officials have held people whose worst alleged violation was selling tamales without a permit or having a barking dog,” the Democrat said via statement. “Even crime victims have been deported. We need to end that to bring back trust between our communities and the local law enforcement agencies supposed to protect them.”

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a Republican who represents a desert district in southeastern California and is a vocal opponent of illegal immigration, said the changes made the measure “less offensive” than the vetoed version. But he still voted no.

Brown has until mid-October to sign or veto the measure.


Scott Detrow

Sacramento bureau chief Scott Detrow covers state government, politics and policy for KQED News and its statewide news program, The California Report.

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