Father of murdered son urges CA governor to veto TRUST Act
California’s liberal illegal immigration policies are well documented. The latest controversial legislation to reach Governor Jerry Brown’s desk is the TRUST Act, a measure that would prevent jailed illegal aliens from being turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) once they serve their time.
However, one man is taking it upon himself to urge the state’s governor to veto AB1081 or the TRUST Act.
“In 2008, my 17-year-old son Jamiel Shaw Jr., was brutally murdered just a few feet from his front door by an illegal alien,” Jamiel Shaw Sr. said. The impassioned father explained that his son was murdered, execution-style, by a known violent gang member, Pedro Espinoza, who was in the country illegally and was released from county jail 36 hours before he murdered Jamiel Shaw Jr.
“The only thing standing between deportable criminals being turned loose all across California is Governor Brown and his veto pen,” Shaw Senior said. “For the sake of public safety, if not plain common sense, Gov. Brown must veto this irresponsible legislation.”
Supporters of AB1081 claim the law is required in order to build trust within the illegal communities. Shaw Sr. couldn’t disagree more. “Police in California and many other places around the country are not interested in people’s immigration status when they report or witness a crime. Illegal aliens appear on the cover of Time magazine, address a national political convention, and seek admission to the California bar. They are hardly fearful of law enforcement.”
Making Jamiel Jr.’s story even more tragic is the fact that he was weeks away from leaving Los Angeles for college. “He was being recruited by Stanford and other prestigious universities to play football and pursue his college education.” Unfortunately, Jamiel Jr. died because Los Angeles County is considered a sanctuary city that prevents law enforcement from working with ICE.
Tom Ammiano, a Democrat, said he authored AB1081 to reform California’s participation in the “Secure Communities” program. The hot-button immigration law continues to face severe criticism from liberals in large cities who say deportations of illegal immigrants is unfair and primarily targets the Latino community. If signed into law by the governor, the bill will prohibit local law enforcement departments from referring a detainee to ICE officials for deportation unless that person has been convicted of a violent or serious felony.
“The vote (to move forward) recognizes that S-Communities is sabotaging our public safety,” Ammiano said. “The TRUST Act is the solution we need to begin rebuilding the confidence that our local law enforcement worked so hard to build, but that ICE has shattered.”
If the Trust Act garners the signature of the Golden State’s governor, Jerry Brown, local police and Sheriff’s Departments would no longer have permission to work with ICE unless the suspected illegal immigrant has committed a serious felony. This contentious sticking point flies in the face of Police Departments like Escondido Police Department, who not only work directly with ICE, but federal agents have offices located at the Escondido Police Department. “It works,” Escondido Police Chief Jim Maher said.
The city’s successful relationship with ICE has even garnered national recognition.
Nevertheless, liberal California’s overwhelming Democratic legislature is hell bent on an open arms policy when it comes to illegal immigrants looking to call California home. The proposed legislation would create a clear line between local police and ICE by setting “a minimum standard for local governments not to submit to ICE’s requests to detain people for deportation unless the individual has a serious or violent felony conviction. Guard against profiling and wrongful detention of citizens and crime victims and witnesses,” according to the bill. The bill also stipulates that localities that detain individuals with serious convictions that can lead to deportation would have to develop common-sense plans to prevent profiling and wrongful detentions.
The TRUST Act’s sponsor Ammiano said: “California cannot afford to become another Arizona.”
The often-controversial Secure Communities (S-Comm) program was set up under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to partner federal (FBI) and local law enforcement agencies to deport illegal immigrants and protect the country’s borders from criminal or possible terrorists seeking illegal entry into the United States.
The S-Comm program allows police departments to send arrestee fingerprint data to ICE, which in turn uses the information to prioritize deportations. The program successfully deported 400,000 illegal immigrants last year. But that high number comes with passionate disapproval from Latino organizations and Democrat lawmakers in California.
“(Secure Communities) has burdened our local governments and put even victims and witnesses of crime at risk of deportation, making us all less safe,” Ammiano said on his website. “It has even mistakenly trapped U.S. citizens in our local jails for immigration purposes.”
The California State Sheriff’s Association couldn’t disagree more. They said state and local agencies cannot pick and choose which laws to enforce and says S-Comm only focuses on serious felony and repeat offenders.
“Now all of a sudden the sheriff has to make a decision based on this legislation, if it passes, on who [he] is and is not going to keep,” Curtis Hill, legislative representative for the association, told the Los Angeles Times. “So is he following federal law? Or is he applying the California law?”
Sadly, families from across California have lost sons, daughters, mothers and fathers because criminal aliens were released to their community instead of being remanded by ICE. “As someone who has paid the ultimate price, I hope to spare other families the agony of a similar needless tragedy,” Shaw finished. In order to gain more attention Mr. Shaw released a YouTube video explaining his position on AB1081.
Bill AB1081 passed the state Assembly by a 47-26 vote; the Senate passed the legislation on a 21-13 party line vote.
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