San Diego Police Chief Endorses 'Anti-Arizona' Bill
August 16, 2013

San Diego's police chief has endorsed a California state bill that some call the Anti-Arizona bill. It aims to prevent a fear of law enforcement that immigrants in Arizona have faced because of cooperation between local police and immigration agents.

San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne has endorsed the so-called TRUST Act, a state bill that would limit the ability of local police and sheriffs to cooperate with federal immigration agents.

The TRUST Act addresses the federal Secure Communities Program. Under that program, immigration agents receive information about people arrested in nearly every county in the U.S. If they think someone might be deportable, they can request that a local jail hold that person for up to two days, until a federal immigration agent arrives.

The TRUST Act would prohibit local jails from honoring that request unless a person has been convicted of certain violent or sex crimes.

The bill passed the state legislature last year, but California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed it over concerns that some serious crimes were excluded from the bill. The state sheriff's association also opposed the bill. A revised bill has already passed the state assembly and is making its way through the Senate.

In a letter to the governor expressing his support for the bill, Lansdowne said the Secure Communities Program has diminished trust of law enforcement in immigrant communities. He said the Trust Act set reasonable limits on the federal program. David Bejarano, Chula Vista's police chief, has also endorsed the bill.