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Idea of the Day: The TRUST Act Is Smart Legislation

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Every year, Congress spends a king’s ransom of $17 billion on border and immigration enforcement, more than the annual gross domestic product, or GDP, of 80 countries. This money is spent in a Sisyphean—and ultimately self-defeating—effort to identify and deport the 11.7 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States. However, the vast majority of these immigrants have been living here for more than a decade, are well settled into American life, and are significant contributors to the American economy. In recent years, these aggressive enforcement policies have attempted to conscript state and local police—so-called force multipliers—into service as de facto immigration agents.

One troubling program at the heart of this effort to deputize state and local cops as immigration agents requires local police to check the immigration status of anyone booked on a criminal charge. Under that program, known as Secure Communities, whenever the Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, identifies immigrants in local police custody who are potentially subject to deportation, DHS issues a “detainer,” or a request that the local cops hold the immigrant until DHS can take them into their custody.

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Print: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
202.478.6331 or

Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
202.741.6258 or

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues,, faith)
202.478.5328 or

Print: Beatriz Lopez (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.741.6255 or

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Rafael Medina
202.478.5313 or

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or

Radio: Sally Tucker
202.481.8103 or


This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

For more from the same column, click here