California TRUST Act (AB 4)

The California TRUST Act is now in effect!

As of January 1, a new law in California limits local jails from wastefully holding people for extra time, solely for deportation purposes.

This new law is called the TRUST Act. The TRUST Act will keep families together, save local resources, and enhance community confidence in local enforcement.

Learn more about the new law on this website!


What the TRUST Act does

The TRUST Act sets a minimum standard across the state to limit cruel and costly immigration “hold” requests in local jails. These optional holds are often caused by the deeply controversial “Secure” Communities or S-Comm program. They trap undocumented and immigrant Californians – and even citizens – for extra time, at local expense, just because ICE thinks it can deport them.

The TRUST Act ensures that people with most low-level, non-violent offenses are not wastefully held for deportation purposes. At the same time, it allows holds for most felony convictions and also for those accused of felonies under certain circumstances, along with a number of higher level misdemeanor (or “wobbler”) convictions within 5 years and for certain federal criminal convictions.

Since all immigration holds risk violating the constitution, local governments can and should enact further protections.


Why we need the TRUST Act

By entangling our local police and sheriffs in the machinery of deportation, the federal government has undermined community safety, put survivors and witnesses to crimes at risk, and wasted important local resources. Over 100,000 Californians have been deported through S-Comm alone. Countless families have been broken up, and countless children are now without their parents.

But with the TRUST Act and even stronger local policies, California is forging a new path which President Obama and Congress should quickly follow.

Who will be helped by the TRUST Act?

During the three-year fight to pass the TRUST Act, many courageous undocumented Californians facing deportation spoke out. This includes:

  • Maria Sánchez of Torrance, currently facing deportation after she was the victim of a fender-bender;
  • Domestic violence survivors wrongfully arrested after calling for help like Norma and Isaura;
  • Day Laborers like Jose Ucelo, arrested on false charges from employers unwilling to pay wages owed;
  • Sacramento tamale vendor Juana Reyes and other food vendors;
  • Ruth Montano, a Bakersfield mother nearly deported due to a trivial complaint over her small dogs’ barking.

Had the TRUST Act been in effect at the time, none would have been held for deportation.


California TRUST Act Resources


TRUST Act Palm Cards

Palm cards are wallet-size fact sheets with information on the California TRUST Act. They include Know Your Rights Information and the TRUST Act Hotline listing (1-844-TRUST-01 | 1-844-878-7801). Download copies of printable palm cards.


Palm cards can also be requested from our office. Please click here to request palm cards.

Immigrant Legal Resource Center's Know Your Rights Cards with ICE
The Red Cards were created to help both citizens and noncitizens defend themselves against constitutional violations during ICE raids. These cards provide citizens and noncitizens with information about how to assert their constitution rights and an explanation for ICE agents that the individuals are indeed asserting their constitutional rights.

  • PDF Red Card in Spanish and English here.

Trust Act Powerpoint in Spanish and English

Bilingual TRUST Act Powerpoint.ppt
Download File

AB 60 Drivers Licenses and CA TRUST Act Powerpoint
AB 60 Drivers Licenses and CA TRUST Act Presentation
Download File



Key TRUST Act Resources

  • Flowchart showing how the TRUST Act works.
  • Juveniles and the TRUST Act Memo: Immigrant Legal Resource Center explains how the TRUST Act applies to  juveniles (under 18).
  • Letter to County Counsels in California with guidance on TRUST Act implementation (sent in Dec 2013).
  • Letter of Intent: Approved by the California legislature in August 2014, this letter from Assembly member Ammiano (sponsor of the TRUST Act) clarifies several provisions in the new law.


Advocacy with Local Law Enforcement

  • Suggested Agenda for Meetings with Sheriffs. Request a meeting with your sheriff, ask questions, and  educate your community.
  • List of Questions to ask Sheriffs.
  • Model TRUST Act Policy for Sheriff's Departments to adopt.
  • List of hold eligible offenses under the TRUST Act. For a detailed list of all offenses for which a person can be  detained on an immigration hold under the TRUST Act, see below. Note: This list does not constitute legal advice. It has been compiled by advocates to assist with implementation.
  • Sample Letter to send to Sheriff and/or County Counsel to request the release of an individual under the TRUST Act
  • Attachments for Sample Letter to Sheriff and/or County Counsel: (1) Letter to Sheriffs explaining that the TRUST Act is binding law beginning on Jan. 1, 2014 (send in Dec 2013); (2) Letter to County Counsels in California with guidance on TRUST Act implementation (sent in Dec 2013); (3) Flowchart showing how the TRUST Act works; (4) Text of the TRUST Act (AB 4 by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano).


ICE Holds are Voluntary


ICE Holds Violate Due Process


PEP-Comm (Priority Enforcement Program)


Administrative Relief Memos on S-Comm and Prosecutorial Discretion

  • DHS Memo (Nov. 20, 2014) on ending S-Comm and beginning the Prioritized Enforcement Program (PEP-Comm).
  • DHS Memo (Nov. 20. 2014) on prioritization for enforcement.


Driver's License Implementation (AB 60)

  • For information about a new program for immigrants to obtain a Driver's License beginning in 2015, please visit this link.
  • For a video describing the new Driver's License program, please visit this link (Spanish).

ICE Out of California Campaign


Pass the TRUTH Act (AB 953-Bonta) to further strengthen the TRUST Act

  • TRUTH Act website ( AB 953 is a pending California state bill that would create a transparent process, including community engagement, before local law enforcement can participate in controversial ICE deportation programs. Local law enforcement must then reach an agreement with their city council or county supervisors that sets the terms and conditions of any participation in such programs and ensures compliance with California's TRUST Act.