Law enforcement officials in California who arrest immigrants in the country illegally will be prohibited from detaining them for transfer to federal authorities unless they committed a serious crime under one of several bills signed Saturday by Gov. Jerry Brown to ease conditions for immigrants.
The Trust Act is the second milestone bill on immigration signed by the governor in two days. On Thursday he approved a measure allowing immigrants in the country illegally to receive California driver’s licenses.
“While Washington waffles on immigration, California’s forging ahead,” Brown said. “I’m not waiting.”
Brown's action came as immigration advocates rallied in California and across the county to push for new immigration legislation.
As Washington remains preoccupied with a federal government shutdown, immigration has faded into the background.
Earlier this week, House Democrats introduced an immigration bill that mostly parallels the one passed by the Senate in June. It would offer a path to citizenship for most of the 11 million immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally, as well as expand visa programs in an effort to eliminate current backlogs.
But many House Republicans do not support a path to citizenship for the 11 million.