HB2655 Would End Most State Deportations

March 11, 2014

(Photo by Riis Valcho-KJZZ)
Supporters of HB2655 gather at the Arizona Capitol Monday afternoon.

State Democratic leaders say they have sponsored a bill that would end most deportations in Arizona. The bill is modeled after a law from a neighboring state.

Backers of an “Arizona TRUST Act” say it is similar to a law passed in California last year. It would limit when local law enforcement agencies could hold someone in jail while the federal government checks if the person can be deported.

Rep. Juan Mendez, a Democrat from Tempe, said the law would heal rifts in trust between minority communities and the police.

“We’re only deporting convicted criminals and people with aggravated felonies," said Mendez. "And then, the other part of Arizona’s TRUST Act is we’re really pushing for a truth in reconciliation aspect to it.”

The law would restrict a tool the Obama Administration has used in recent years to deport a record number of immigrants living in the country illegally. The bill faces an uphill fight in the Republican controlled legislature.