In California, many of us remember the infamous anti-immigrant Proposition 187, enacted in 1994, that would have affected the lives of every resident by imposing draconian requirements on all public servants to deny services and report all "reasonably suspected" undocumented immigrants to immigration authorities. Fortunately, the federal court, in a challenge by MALDEF and others, barred implementation and struck down the 1994 initiative as unconstitutional. Although Proposition 187 was in many ways a precursor of today's SB 1070 in Arizona and replicated in other states, California has mostly been spared the costs and craziness of these new and ill-advised anti-immigrant state laws, including the distrust of police forced to engage in immigration enforcement.

Unfortunately, we in California are still not immune from all ill-advised anti-immigrant practices. Fortunately, the California state legislature has sent to Governor Jerry Brown Assembly Bill (AB) 1081, also known as the "TRUST Act", which would prevent federal government errors and poor judgments -- a result of pushing deportations to record levels -- from disrupting families, businesses, and communities across California. AB 1081 would also end the nightmare of families not knowing why a father or mother is still being held in custody after making bail or after a judge orders release. And, the TRUST Act would restore trust of local police, who can work successfully -- without facing fears that they are enforcing immigration law -- with victims, witnesses, and community to address real crime.

AB 1081 would ensure that Californians only pay to jail and hold for federal immigration authorities those who are guilty of serious crimes. As of now, too many people -- with children, important jobs, and communities -- get turned over to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) without any serious criminal history or charges against them. You can help stop this needless cost and disruption by urging the Governor to sign the TRUST Act.

Call Governor Brown today at 916-445-2841, and urge him to sign AB 1081 as a critical step to saving money, ending community disruption, and ensuring public safety.

Call Governor Brown NOW!

Call 916-445-2841.

Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the "law firm of the Latino community," MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit:

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund