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Supporters of Immigrants Pushing Back

July 16, 2012
Plain English Version

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down laws punishing undocumented workers and families in Arizona, Alabama and other states. It left local versions of the Secure Communities Act in place. A few other states order the police to detain people so immigration officials can review the case.

Some states and communities are proposing laws and rulings that favor undocumented Americans.

A bill in the California legislature would order local police departments to release people with no serious convictions even if federal officials want them detained. It is called the Trust Act. The individual may have to post a bond before release. If charged earlier with a crime, they must show their sentence was completed.

The Mayor of Los Angeles, police chiefs in Oakland, Palo Alto and elsewhere, California’s Catholic bishops, other governments and immigrant supporters support the California bill.

The mayor of Chicago, in Cook County, Illinois wants a local law. The police would not hold undocumented workers if they have no serious criminal convictions or outstanding criminal warrants. Cook County has the same rule.

The mayor said the proposal was part of his goal to make Chicago the “most immigrant-friendly city in the country.” A federal official says the Illinois rule was, “inconsistent with the terms of federal law.”

A coalition of immigrant groups announced a national campaign to encourage more places to enact pro-immigrant rules. Supporters say the bill will restore minorities’ trust in the communities and help fight crime.

The New York Times

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