Nearly six years after Connecticut enacted the TRUST Act limiting the circumstances under which law enforcement agencies could respond to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer request, some Nutmeg State lawmakers are moving to expand the act in a show of legislative lunacy.
On May 15, the Connecticut State Senate voted 20-15 along party lines to pass legislation to expand the Trust Act to require a judicial warrant before any law enforcement agency can reply to an ICE detainer request.
Most concerning is language in the bill that requires the establishment of “new procedures that law enforcement officers must follow when responding to these detainers, placing additional restrictions on the actions they may take and eliminating current law’s requirement that they consider specific public safety and risk factors.”
The removal of the public safety consideration is what concerned opponents, including Republican state Rep. Rob Sampson.
“This bill protects people who are criminals. … I can’t say it more clearly,” he said, adding that the “policy doesn’t just put me and my neighbors at risk, it puts the people in the undocumented community at risk, too.”
With Senate approval, the bill now heads to the state house for consideration. But that measure is no match for S.B. 948, which borders on the criminally creative in terms of protecting criminal aliens. In short, the proposed bill would reduce the maximum misdemeanor sentences by one day, from 365 days to 364 days.
What difference does a day make? Well, the legislation’s “statement of purpose” is quite explicit in stating it is “to cause fewer deportations.”
With relation to immigration, federal law defines a felony as any crime that has a maximum sentence of “at least one year” or “one year or longer,” which is grounds for deportation.
But the lawmakers were actually not the ones to trigger this insanity of reducing the length of sentences. It was the Connecticut Sentencing Commission whose recommendation it was to change the statute.
And they were as brazen in acknowledging their aim.
“A one-day reduction in maximum sentences would help address the disconnect between the state’s misdemeanor offenses and the stark and asymmetrical immigration consequences that can result,” said the Commission.
There are, however, real consequences to pandering to the whims of pro-amnesty advocates and their “no-immigrant-is-illegal” policies.
As FAIR’s David Jaroslav has noted, “felony convictions strictly limit the ability of immigration courts to do anything with criminal aliens other than to deport them and to keep them off the street until they’re deported, while misdemeanor convictions typically allow them to remain out on bond.”
It is important to remember what are deemed misdemeanor crimes. Yes, there are traffic violations and non-violent crimes. However, under Connecticut law, a Class A misdemeanor includes Criminally Negligent Homicide, Assault and even strangulation.
Several states already have passed similar initiatives, but that does not make Connecticut’s open borders lawmakers any less irresponsible.
The year began with the January announcement by state Rep. Geoffrey Luxenberg of his proposed bill to make officially declare Connecticut a sanctuary state, a move he said was intended to counter President Trump’s “inhumane, aggressive, hostile, xenophobic, and racist policy.”
A similar effort failed in 2017, but if the two pending bills make it to Gov. Ned Lamont (D), the Nutmeg State will be a sanctuary state in every meaning but name. And that should be frightening for Connecticut’s residents – immigrant or native-born.