California's 'Trust Act' Goes Into Effect, Limiting Deportations of Undocumented Immigrants


(Photo: Archive, Reuters)

The "Trust Act" law approved in California in 2012 finally went into effect on Jan. 1, 2014 in what many have described as one of the most significant victories for the Latino community in the U.S.

The measure limits deportations exclusively to dangerous undocumented immigrants and those with records of violent crimes, so immigrants stopped for minor infractions will not be handed over to Federal migration institutions. This is an attempt to reduce the deportations that reached a historic record in the U.S. during 2013.

According to CNN, starting on Wednesday, police departments in California will only deliver information to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on immigrants with serious crime records in accordance with the "Trust Act" Law (California Trust Act, SB 1081).

Hundreds of new laws in California went into effect on Jan. 1. According to The Los Angeles Times, the new statutes include stricter controls on guns, more rights for immigrants and broader access to legal abortion in the state.

As The Los Angeles Times notes, during 2013 Gov. Jerry Brown signed around 800 laws, and most of them went into effect on Wednesday.

A law to limit deportations

Speaking about the Trust Act, Juan José Gutiérrez, president of Movimiento Latino USA of Los Angeles, told Univisión that he belives "the Trust Act will not stop deportations, but it will limit them. Thanks to this law state, local and municipal police officers won't be able to hand over people arrested for minor crimes to federal immigration agents."

"This is a great step that serves as an example for other states to do something similar, especially those progressive states that defend the immigration reform," Gutiérrez added.