ICE Burned

Paul Bass PhotoThe state House this week unanimously passed a bill sponsored by New Haven state Rep. Gary Holder-Winfield to rein in federal immigration sweeps of undocumented workers.

Holder-Winfield (pictured at a March City Hall immigrant-rights rally) introduced the Transparency and Responsibility Using State Tools (TRUST) Act in response to cases like that of Josemaria Islas, an undocumented New Havener being deported to Mexico after Hamden police arrested him on a robbery charge that turned out to be false. The federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency then detained him and moved to send him back to Mexico under a program called “Secure Communities.” ICE claims it uses the program to deport dangerous offenders. (Read about Islas’s case here and here.)

The TRUST Act would prevent local authorities from turning over any detainees to ICE except in cases of a “serious or violent felony conviction.”

Holder-Winfield said the bill would increase trust between immigrants and cops.

“Having grown up in a community where police were not trusted, I understand that a community is less safe when it is unable to interact with the police,” Holder-Winfield, who is running for mayor in New Haven, said in a press statement released by his campaign. “The protocols set forth in this bill make communities safer, are cost effective and shift the responsibility for immigration back where it belongs with our federal government.”

His bill was one of two immigrant-rights bills passed by the state House this week. The other would grant driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants; read about that here.

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posted by: Walt on May 26, 2013  12:11pm

I’m confused again

Your earlier story to which you refer us,  says, if I read it correctly,  that Islas pled guilty   to get a shorter sentence

Your current story is that he is not guilty of the robbery for which he previously accepted guilt

Has he legally been judged not guilty or is this just a claim of his attorney or an outside   friendly group (like reporters or advocates)?

Would appreciate clarification

posted by: Stylo on May 26, 2013  1:07pm

And that’s why I’d never support this guy.

I’m all for immigration reform (making the path to citizenship easier with less red tape), but not for enabling illegal activity.

This is irresponsible at best.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on May 27, 2013  11:28pm

When Haitians reached the shores of the United States they are turned away and sent back to Haiti. How come we donot hear Black and Latino politicians speaking on this.

posted by: PH on May 28, 2013  6:01pm

Great job getting the bill out of the House—now you just have to get the Senate to act!  ICE can continue to do their own dirty work, no need to turn local police into federal agents to help them fill misguided deportation quotas.