SACRAMENTO, Calif. September 28, 2016 – Earlier this afternoon, Governor Jerry Brown signed the TRUTH Act (AB 2792 – Bonta) into law. The bill makes California the first state to require that law enforcement advise people in jail of their rights and get written consent prior to an interrogation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The bill creates greater transparency in ICE’s interactions with immigrant community members by requiring disclosure of important Know Your Rights information and access to data on collaboration between local law enforcement and ICE.
Angela Chan, Policy Director and Senior Staff Attorney at Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, stated: “The TRUTH Act provides our diverse immigrant community members with the right to know and the right to say no to abusive ICE practices. At a time when the national conversation on immigration has reached a fevered pitch, California leads the way by building bridges instead of walls. We call on Governor Brown to take bolder steps to get California out of the deportation business once and for all.”
Andrew Medina, Policy Manager for Advancing Justice – California, stated: “As ICE programs continue to operate in secrecy in California, we welcome the TRUTH Act to shed some light on how ICE is damaging our immigrant communities. The TRUTH Act is just one step toward addressing the larger issue of ICE notifications and deportations. We must continue the fight to protect our immigrant communities.”
Specifically, the TRUTH Act:
Ensures that immigrants in local jails are informed of their right to refuse an interview with ICE, or have an attorney present;
Requires that a copy of any ICE hold, notification, or transfer request be given to the individual who is the subject of the request and to his/her attorney or designee;
Calls for an annual public forum if any local law enforcement agency transfers someone to ICE custody, beginning in 2018.
The TRUTH Act builds on the important work of the TRUST Act (AB 4 – Ammiano), which was signed by Gov. Brown in 2013 after a three year grassroots campaign. The TRUST Act limits the circumstances in which local law enforcement agencies can detain people on cruel and costly ICE “holds”–which ask local jails to hold people for up to 48 hours for deportation purposes. In 2014, several federal courts found ICE “holds” to be unconstitutional because they lack probable cause and are not signed by a judge.
The TRUTH Act was co-sponsored by Asian Americans Advancing Justice – California, California Immigrant Policy Center, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, ACLU of California, and MALDEF.
Advancing Justice – ALC was founded in 1972 as the nation’s first legal and civil rights Asian American organization. Recognizing that social, economic, political and racial inequalities continue to exist in the United States, Advancing Justice – ALC is committed to the pursuit of equality and justice for all sectors of our society, with a specific focus directed toward addressing the needs of low-income, immigrant and underserved Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Visit www.advancingjustice-alc.org.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice-California (Advancing Justice-CA) is a joint project of Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus and Advancing Justice-Los Angeles.