According to the New York Times, Governor Jerry Brown can further help protect the people of his community in California from crime by signing the Trust Act. This act was recently passed in the state and forbids local police departments from using their jails as holding cells for noncriminal or minor offending immigrants. ICE, Immigration Customs Enforcement, often issues requests to local police departments to hold the immigrant until they can be picked up for deportation. In actuality, this request is entirely voluntary on the police department’s behalf, and they only have to do so if they wish, contrary to popular belief. This act is calling for state law enforcement to be in line with the federal deportation policies, which focus on dangerous criminals or repeat offenders. Data suggests that tens of thousands of immigrants, with minor records or no prior offenses at all, have been deported due to one of ICE’s programs named Secure Communities. This program calls for law enforcement to do checks on anyone fingerprinted by them.
The Trust Act has received great support from many, including civil rights organizations, who want a line by law between federal enforcement and local law enforcement concerning immigrants. I too support the Trust Act. The main objective of both federal enforcement and local law enforcement is to keep the people safe from as much crime as possible and provide “secure communities.” Is a community truly secure if violent criminals, due to lack of jail space, are out on the streets? This issue is certainly global because if the jails are full of immigrants with no prior records, there is no room for violent criminals that actually pose a threat to our society and around the world. The immigrants are also not receiving basic human rights that they should be entitled to regardless of what country they are in. This debate illustrates a sad belief of some, and that is that a noncriminal noncitizen should be locked away and held instead of a criminal citizen. In order to truly protect the people of this world, who society views as the biggest threat must change.
9/7/12, 9:45 AM