State bill would limit local immigrant detentions

  • Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, urged lawmakers to approve his measure that limits the state's participation in a federal law enforcement program that targets illegal immigrants, at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, May 16, 2013. The measure was approved by a 42-20 vote and sent to the Senate. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

SACRAMENTO — People living in the country illegally could not be detained for deportation if they are arrested for a minor crime, under a bill passed Thursday by the California Assembly.

The measure from Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, would create a statewide standard for how local agencies should comply with a federal program requiring immigration status checks of anyone arrested.

The federal Secure Communities program requires people found to be in the U.S. illegally to be held for immigration officials.

But Ammiano said the majority of the 95,000 people in California who have been detained and deported did not have criminal records, including some who were victims of domestic violence.

Under AB4, known as the Trust Act, local law enforcement would be able to detain only people who were previously convicted of a serious or violent felony.

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