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CTnow

Illegal immigrants would be harder to deport under Assembly bill

By Chris Megerian

6:16 PM EDT, May 16, 2013

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SACRAMENTO -- A California lawmaker is making a renewed push to limit the detention and deportation of immigrants who are in the country illegally after his legislation was vetoed last year by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The bill, authored by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), was approved by the Assembly with a 44-22 vote on Thursday. It now goes to the state Senate.

The measure (AB 4) would limit local law enforcement from working with federal authorities to detain illegal immigrants except in cases involving a serious or violent crime.

“We have to move this bill forward to restore community trust to local law enforcement and end the practice of tearing apart families and neighborhoods on the basis of insignificant alleged offenses,” Ammiano said in a statement. He said too many people without criminal records are being deported.

Brown vetoed a similar bill last year, saying it was "fatally flawed" because local authorities would be exempt from working with federal officials on cases involving child abuse, drug trafficking and other offenses. However, the governor did pledge to consider modified legislation.

Ammiano's spokesman, Carlos Alcala, said the assemblyman was willing to work with Brown on a compromise. 

"As of this moment we still don’t have anything concrete from Gov. Brown’s office on what he wants," he said.

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Twitter: @chrismegerian