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Arizona TRUST Act fights back against federal deportation program

PHOENIX — Some Democratic state lawmakers are taking aim at President Barack Obama’s deportation program.

“This war of attrition on immigrants has made us all less safe,” said Arizona House Rep. Juan Mendez.

Mendez, a District 26 representative, said half of all Hispanics in Maricopa County are afraid to call the police, even if they’re a victim of a crime, because they’re scared of being asked about their immigration status. He’s sponsoring a bill called the Arizona TRUST Act that would make the feds pay for their own program.

“The Arizona TRUST Act then prevents the Arpaios of our state from abusing the immigration system and brings our immigration practices in line with the federal agency’s already-stated priorities,” Mendez explained.

Similar measures have already been passed in places like Chicago, New Orleans, Miami and the State of California.

“We’re finding that about 60 to 80 percent of ICE hold requests are being denied by local law enforcement, as a result of the California TRUST Act,” said Angela Chan, a civil rights attorney in California.