California lawmakers have approved a bill designed to stop undocumented immigrants from being deported unless they’ve been convicted or charged with a serious or violent felony. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, the bill passed Friday after heated debate on the Assembly floor.
Supporters of the legislation say the federal program that requires immigration checks of anyone booked in a local jail goes too far, often resulting in thousands of deportations of immigrants for minor offenses. The bill, called the “Trust Act” is designed to prevent that. But debate over the issue was intense.
Republican Assembly member Tim Donnelly founded the California Minutemen. He had harsh words for the legislation. “The name of this bill, AB1081, the Trust Act, is an insult to every single person in this state who has been a victim at the hands of someone who is in the country illegally.”
Then the bill’s author, Democratic Assembly member Tom Ammiano, took aim at Donnelly. “I think maybe you’ve been in the sun a little too long building that silly fence and maybe you should come to San Francisco.”
Debate was interrupted to ask members not to call each other names. The measure passed on a party line vote and now goes to the Governor.