As a result of Assembly Bill 4, the Trust Act (Cal. Govt. Code §§ 7282, 7282.5) was enacted on January 1, 2014, requiring California law enforcement to change their procedures with regard to immigration holds. This has been a huge victory for many locally detained immigrants, as law enforcement may no longer honor immigration holds (commonly referred to as ICE holds or INS holds) where certain requirements are met. Simply put, law enforcement cannot detain immigrants for immigration officials, if they do not fit into the specific categories listed under the Trust Act.
Pursuant to the Trust Act, law enforcement may no longer detain individuals with an immigration hold after they become eligible for release, UNLESS one of the following six circumstances applies, and local law/policy is not violated:
1. You have a felony conviction (past convictions count!) of:
a. a serious or violent felony listed in PC §§ 1192.7(c), 667.5(c); or
b. a felony punishable by State Prison; or
c. a felony listed in Cal. Govt. Code § 7282.5(a)(3)
2. You have a wobbler conviction (a criminal conviction that can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony) within the past 5 years listed in Cal. Govt. Code § 7282.5(a)(3)
3. There is a finding of Probable Cause on a felony charge (a felony in section 1 above)
4. You are a current California Sex or Arson Registrant
5. You have a federal conviction for an aggravated felony listed in 8 USC §§ 1101(a)(43)(A)-(P). Please note that "aggravated" felonies are not limited to felony convictions but can include misdemeanor convictions as well.
6. You have an outstanding warrant for a federal felony.
Under this framework, the Trust Act prevents local law enforcement from detaining non-citizens with an immigration hold, beyond the time that they would be released from criminal custody (so long as the six circumstances listed above do not apply).
If you believe that you or someone that you know is being wrongfully detained under the Trust Act, it is imperative that you contact an Immigration/Criminal Defense attorney as soon as possible. In addition, the Trust Act has provided a unique defense for qualifying immigrants who seek to serve their criminal sentence while avoiding Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) custody. Please contact Fatone Law to schedule a consultation if you have any questions regarding how the Trust Act may affect you.