On Saturday about 200 people gathered at Los Angeles’s MacArthur Park for a rally demanding that California Governor Jerry Brown sign both the TRUST Act (AB 1081) and the Domestic Workers’ Rights Bill (AB 889) into law. That effort was not a complete success as Brown vetoed both bills on Sunday night.
The TRUST Act would have limited how local law enforcement and Immigration and Customs enforcement interact, specifically when it comes to so-called “non-violent” immigrants detained on suspicion of having committed a crime or breaking a law. It was meant to push back against federal immigration enforcement programs like Secure Communities but would not end that policy.
On Saturday Angeleno day laborers and street vendors shared their personal stories telling how mixing local law enforcement with harsh national immigration enforcement policies like Secure Communities target hardworking immigrants and threaten mixed status families. Day laborer Jose Ucelo spoke about how asking to be paid for a day’s work ended with him being put into deportation proceedings.
Street vendor Blanca Perez shared how trying to make a living as a single mother by selling ice cream to support her U.S. citizen son ended up with her now facing being separated from her child.
Pablo Alvarado, executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network issued the following statement last night in response to Gov. Brown’s veto:
“By vetoing the TRUST Act Governor Brown has failed California’s immigrant communities, imperiling civil rights and leaving us all less safe. The President’s disastrous Secure Communities program is replicating Arizona’s model of immigration enforcement nationally, causing a human rights crisis. Immigration and Customs Enforcement strong-armed the Governor to defend its deportation quota instead of defending Californian’s rights. On this sad day, we renew our commitment to fight to keep our families together despite the Governor and the President’s insistence on seeing them torn apart.”
Brown’s official reasoning for vetoing the bill included the canned Democratic party support for Comprehensive Immigration Reform but he also expressed a concern with the federal government telling local law enforcement to detain immigrants who pose no threat to the community. However in that same response, Brown also stated that he was troubled with how the construction of the TRUST Act excluded certain high level offenses like child abuse and drug trafficking.In the statement Brown said he was open to supporting a rewritten version of the bill.
Brown signing The Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights (AB 889) was also on the list of demands from the multi-ethnic crowd on Saturday who linked the TRUST Act to the issue by saying that immigrant workers deserve to be safe and protected on the streets and behind closed doors. On Saturday afternoon, domestic workers shared stories of abuse including sexual harassment. Brown’s official reasoning for vetoing the bill included questioning the cost passed down to those needing care and their families for overtime, rest, and meal periods for workers and the inclusion of Home Supportive Service Workers.