“Most Important Legislation for Immigrant[s]” in 2012 Vetoed


September 28, 2012; Source: CNN

Late last night, California Gov. Jerry Brown had the opportunity to sign the TRUST Act but he opted to veto it instead. The bill was seen as the antithesis of Arizona’s approach to illegal immigration. A federal judge gave Arizona law enforcement officials the green light to ask individuals whom they suspect of being in the country illegally for their papers. The controversial provision, which critics view as essentially sanctioning racial profiling in Arizona, was one of the only aspects of the state’s hardcore immigration law that was not overturned by the Supreme Court in June. In contrast, the California law would have limited the ability of local law enforcement officials to cooperate with federal officials, allowing them to share information only on those undocumented immigrants who are convicted of major or violent felonies.

In a letter explaining his decision, Brown said he was “unable to sign the bill as written,” pointing out that “the list of offenses codified in the bill is fatally flawed because it omits many serious crimes.” Prior to Brown’s veto, Jose Antonio Vargas, the award-winning immigrant journalist who gained notoriety when he admitted to not having papers himself, penned an op-ed extolling California’s TRUST Act as a better way for states to deal with undocumented immigrants. He characterized the bill as “the most important piece of legislation for immigrant communities this year,” arguing that signing the bill into law “can prevent the separation of thousands of families, establish an alternative to Arizona’s approach and send a powerful message to the nation: In a state built and replenished by generations of immigrants, fairness and equality matter.”

While Gov. Brown chose to veto the TRUST Act as currently written, he did not slam the door shut on the bill. Brown ended his statement by stating that “the significant flaws in this bill can be fixed, and I will work with Legislature to see that the bill is corrected.” We hope he does so, as the TRUST Act would, as its name suggests, foster trust between immigrant communities and law enforcement officials. It would have freed the latter to focus on crime prevention and safety. It would have made California a more welcoming place for immigrants who have been integral to its past and who are vital to its future.

Ultimately, however, state-by-state measures are a poor substitute for Congress tackling the issue of unauthorized immigration on the federal level. Nonprofit advocacy organizations should encourage (or continue to encourage, in some cases) our federal lawmakers to produce comprehensive immigration legislation that includes a fair and reasonable path to legalizing the status of millions of people who live and work in the U.S. without papers. –Erwin de Leon

  • NIck

    Your liberal bias is showing through. You conveniently left out the part that Arizona law enforcement can ask someone’s legal status only after the person has been involved in a civil/criminal violation. And, by federal law, ALL non-citizens are required to carry their immigration papers/cards on them.

    As Gov. Brown stated, the bill left out many violent crimes, such as child abuse, drug trafficking, selling weapons, using children to sell drugs, etc. which have a serious impact on California communities.

    Gov. Brown shoud be applauded for bring some sanity to this topic.

  • Liz Dunbar

    I agree with NPQ completely. Thanks for highlighting this important topic. I wrote an Op-Ed on this topic recently: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2012/09/19/2301660/us-needs-a-permanent-comprehensive.html

  • Dave Francis


    In my personal opinion I don’t think Mitt Romney’s discussion about 47 percent of people are paying no taxes was a misstep. Along with the American citizens who are “freeloaders” the scroungers, illegal aliens fit into these same criteria, thanks to both political parties. None of our immigration policies are going to matter, if Obama returns for a second term? The only people it’s going to financially affect the taxpayers and the hundreds of billions of dollars to be extracted forcibly from their taxes.

    EXAMPLE, LOS ANGELES COUNTY – Year-end closing 2011 figures from the Department of Public Social Services reported that over $646 million in welfare and food stamp benefits were issued to illegal alien parents for their native-born children, announced Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich. The $646.2 million consisted of $258 million in CalWORKs (welfare) and $388 million in Food Stamps) — a $21 million increase over the previous year. “With the $550 million for public safety and nearly $500 million for healthcare, the total cost for illegal aliens to this one County taxpayer exceeds $1.6 billion dollars a year,” said Antonovich. “These costs do not include the hundreds of millions of dollars for education.” Californians need to contact their Representative, specifically governor Brown and the Liberal State assembly and demand no more illegal alien pandering, or Californian taxpayers will be taxed even more from now to doomsday.

    We have pregnant mothers legally entered the United States on a tourist visa. Then after a few months after giving birth at a county hospital, returned to some foreign country with her newly born child in tow–bearing a U.S. passport. Then at a later age the child arrives in the United States, when it was time to claim her birthright as a U.S. citizen demanding a free public education, free health care. This is what the opposition call “birth tourism” and the practice is solidly deep-rooted in the Los Angeles area, using so-called maternity homes catering to expectant mothers from Asia openly publicized in San Francisco Area. Now good old governor Brown of California, is going to issue Drivers licenses to the eligible illegal aliens who receives special status under Obama’s “Dream Act” policy.

    Lying to immigration officers on entry is a federal crime, Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement stated, but is difficult to prove. She said that to her knowledge no one has been prosecuted in California for visa fraud in relation to birth tourism. Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington, D.C., group that supports tighter immigration controls, is among those who argue for restrictions to help guard against the practice. “The idea that visitors from abroad who intentionally come to give birth to U.S. citizens would have been considered absurd by the framers of the 14th amendment,” Some advocates for stricter immigration controls, such as NumbersUSA, Federation for American Immigration Reform have lobbied to have an amendment to the 14th Amendment added– an action Krikorian believes may be “too drastic.” He suggests a middle ground: that if a child born to foreign parents in the United States was still living in the country 10 years later, he or she would be automatically naturalized. Other organizations believe that when this law was first enacted, it was to supply citizenship to the slaves after the Civil War. That an amendment would only allow citizenship to a child, if one parent was already a citizen or a U.S. serviceman could claim their child gain citizenship status.

    President Obama is sure to enact another blanket amnesty as Reagan did in 1986. Only chance to stave-off any of immigration policies is to vote as many TEA Party legislators into Congress as possible. God help us from the two corrupt political parties if we do not? Better also be alert for Democratic Voter fraud now until November, because ACORN is NOT dead. The TEA PARTY members will be carefully overseeing elections, watching for voting irregularities. The blue states are purposely unconcerned for none citizens voting in any government election, at any level and even absentee ballots are open to fraudulent manipulation. Any none-citizen whether illegal alien voting or anybody else should be held accountable and should face a penal punishment.

    The TEA PARTY (THE PEOPLE’S) PARTY should not be defined as just white people; they are not, they are millions of Americans of every nationality and skin color. My chapter has Hispanics, Black people, Asians from every walk of life. We are “The People “frustrated with the corruption in both parties. The Liberal oriented mainstream media have constantly lied about the agenda of the TEA PARTY. The TEA PARTY are moderate Constitutionalists, not the hard core Marxist-Communist-Socialists entrenched amongst the Democrats who want open borders and no laws to stop illegal migrants and immigrants from thrashing the U.S. taxpayers safety net.

    If you want higher taxes; higher gas prices at the pump; an archaic tax system that benefits the privileged in both parties; a ever growing federal government with rules and regulations that inhibit new business creation; and a president that is giving even more to the “freeloader” parasites that cohabit with the illegal alien invaders who are draining the state reservoirs of money. Obama’s “Political Correctness” is causing major problems and effecting foreign policy. He has alienated Israel to some extent with his Social ideology, he refuses to us the term “Terrorist” and he still wants to keep transmitting taxpayers money in huge amounts money to Egypt and many countries and not exclusively in the middle east that hate American guts. . It also seems that Obama is in accord with the corrupt United Nations, who not only allow animal-terrorists as the arch enemy to America and Israel as the President of Iran to spew out his vitriol garbage, but the UN also wants to globally tax every country. What our Congress should demand by American voters is get the UN out of our face, and cut off the 10 billion dollars we send to them.

    As I am covered by medicare myself, I learned today that under the controversial ObamaCare directive, some of the latest news that has developed from the conservative press is that seniors on Medicare are going to have their federal payments cut, so that money can be used to cover the cost of younger people? I think that every older American should ask questions about this, by contacting their local politician. However, I wouldn’t bother talking to any Democrat, as I think they will say the opposite.

    The 9th circuit court is run by a bunch of Liberal judges, who interpret the laws according to their plan, not to the edicts of the Constitution. If something isn’t done in the next presidency, America will be further overrun with –unfettered poverty. It’s still not a felony to cross illegally into this sovereign nation and as I see it and millions who are involved in the TEA PARTY, the laws have been ignored for years. Why should citizens or lawful immigrants with papers have to compete with illegal aliens? I just know America is in serious trouble with a 16 trillion dollar deficit, and no real enforcement to stop more human financial encumbrances entering through our borders or jetting in from a foreign country. It’s a real catch 22 situation with the winners being businesses using cheap labor, selling more TV and household appliances, food and a whole retinue of things needed to live. They go to the bank loaded down with their dollars, but the taxpayers must foot the bills for free health care, free children’s schooling to K-12, government housing and other special programs, while citizens-residents pay the immense bill.

    I am sure about is the plan of the TEA PARTY if they can eject many Democrats and Republican incumbents and replace them? It’s already happening and by replacing incumbents in the Republican Party can politically persist that the “LEGAL WORKFORCE ACT (E-VERIFY) and the BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP LAW” finds passage and enacted to restrain more illegal alien invaders. They bring their unborn babies here, to live as parasites of the U.S. taxpayer. The children of illegal aliens had no say in coming to America, but by the enactment of the BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP BILL, this incredulous expensive issue for taxpayers is resolved. It’s wrong in the majority of Americans minds that people who wait for years with honest attentions to come to his sovereign country, while others violate our nations laws and not only walk scott free, and are able to use fraudulent Social Security numbers to be hired for jobs. This is especially significant when millions of citizens-residents live in poverty, because there is no work available.