Lambda Legal Urges California Governor to Sign Immigration Bill

Browse By

Blog Search

September 21, 2012

Lambda Legal and the Transgender Law Center have co-authored a letter—joined to date by 22 LGBT and immigrant rights groups—urging California Gov. Jerry Brown to sign AB 1081, the Transparency and Responsibility Using State Tools (TRUST) Act.

The TRUST Act, sponsored by State Assembly Member Tom Ammiano, addresses how California law enforcement agencies implement the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Secure Communities, or S-Comm, program. S-Comm actions currently affect people with no criminal history, sweeping them into immigration proceedings and tearing families apart.

This is especially acute for LGBT immigrants and those living with HIV, who know all too well how easily people who are perceived to 'look different' or 'act different' can be singled out for harassment and persecution. S-Comm actions force people into the shadows, and will exacerbate the fear and distrust that dissuade many LGBT immigrants and people of color from seeking protection from—or offering to assist—law-enforcement officials.

The TRUST Act would refocus S-Comm enforcement actions on the deportation of the most dangerous and violent offenders, as was the original stated intent of the program. Instead, as currently implemented, S-Comm actions have resulted in the arrest and detention of immigrants for minor traffic infractions and interfered with the ability of law enforcement agencies to focus on serious crime. Current S-Comm enforcement policies exacerbate distrust and suspicion between law enforcement and immigrant communities.

Lambda Legal’s participation in this matter is its latest collaboration with immigrant rights groups targeting laws and policies that disproportionately impact immigrant and LGBT communities, including most recently its participation with more than 100 civil rights, faith and community organizations in filing a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in Arizona v. United States, the State of Arizona’s appeal of a federal court decision enjoining key sections of SB1070, Arizona’s draconian anti-immigrant law.

The TRUST Act would adjust implementation of S-Comm across California communities and restore the critical level of trust between police officers and community residents necessary for effective law enforcement and protecting public safety.

The 24 LGBT and immigrant rights groups that have joined the letter to date include:

Lambda Legal
Transgender Law Center
Brown Boi Project
The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)
Community United Against Violence (CUAV)
Equality California (EQCA)
Gender Justice LA
Gray Panthers Association of California Networks
Immigration Equality
Immigrant Youth Coalition
Latino Equality Alliance (LEA)
Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center
Marin Gray Panthers
Marriage Equality USA
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Gay & Lesbian Task Force Action Fund
National Immigrant Youth Alliance
Out 4 Immigration
San Diego LGBT Community Center
San Francisco LGBT Community Center
South Bay LGBT Center
Trans Latina Coalition

Read the letter here.