California Gov. Jerry Brown can stop the Arizonification of his state by signing the TRUST Act into law. That’s the message from Undocubus riders, who are getting back on their butterfly-emblazoned bus and making the trip from Arizona to Los Angeles this weekend to urge Gov. Brown to back the TRUST Act, which would reduce the state’s cooperation with the Secure Communities, the federal immigration enforcement program which is similar in intent and impact to Arizona’s anti-immigrant SB 1070. By traveling to California to bring their message to the state, the undocumented immigrant activists risk arrest, and deportation.
At an event scheduled for 12pm on Saturday in MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, Undocubus riders will join TRUST Act author, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, the California Domestic Workers Coalition and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network to rally behind the TRUST Act and the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, which is also awaiting the governor’s signature ahead of a September 30 signing deadline.
Under Secure Communities, the fingerprints of anyone who’s booked—regardless of whether they’re eventually charged or even convicted of a crime—are handed over to federal immigration officials, who can then request local jails to put an immigration hold on those whose cases they want to investigate for possible immigration violations. The program has become the new backbone of immigration enforcement in the country, and part of a trend of increasing partnerships between local law and immigration enforcement agencies.
Most disconcerting, say immigrant rights advocates, is that Secure Communities, like Arizona’s SB 1070, exploits and relies on racial profiling. Along the way, the program has fueled the nation’s current record-breaking pace of deportations, and the destruction of hundreds of thousands of families. The bulk of those deported have no criminal history at all. But under the TRUST Act, local jails would only be called on to allow an immigration hold if those in question are charged with or convicted of a serious or violent felony, an important protection for the state’s immigrant community.
On Saturday, Undocubus riders will tell Gov. Brown that he has the power to prevent his state from becoming like Arizona, which has come in for a black eye over its treatment of immigrants via laws like SB 1070. The TRUST Act has the support of police chiefs up and down the state, as well as nearly two dozen California Democrats in Congress, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
For more on Undocubus, check out Colorlines reporter Aura Bogado’s reporter’s notebook on the Undocubus journey this summer from Arizona to the Democratic National Convention.