SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)—Many Bay Area counties said they have already been using their own discretion when notifying ICE about suspected illegal immigrants—something State Attorney General Kamala Harris just gave them permission to do. Some even said that Harris’s decision doesn’t go far enough.

Santa Clara County, San Francisco, and Berkeley officials said they have already declined to comply with the Secure Communities detention orders which requires that law enforcement agencies hold those who are suspected of being an undocumented immigrant after being arrested form some unrelated crime.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

Angela Chan, of the Asian Law Caucus, applauded Harris’ decision to tell cities and counties that it’s legal to refuse the federal orders.

“It doesn’t go far enough to seriously advance community policing and make the community safer to immigrants to come forward to report crimes,” she said. “This guidance is important; however it’s just a first step. Much more is needed including a state-wide law.”

Chan and other activists believe that Harris and Governor Brown should support the revised version of the TRUST Act, which would make it mandatory for California agencies not to comply with the federal immigration agencies.

“It would say that you only have discretion to respond to an ICE hold if the person has a serious or violent felony conviction,” she said.

Governor Brown vetoed the TRUST Act last September calling it “fatally flawed,” but Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, just introduced a revised version on Monday.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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