After fresh debate, House reaffirms Trust Act

April 18, 2018

HARTFORD — Rep. Robert Sampson, R-Wolcott, used an amendment on an unrelated immigration bill to redebate — and force a new vote — on the Connecticut Trust Act, which prevents police from holding undocumented residents for immigration officials if they haven’t committed serious crimes.

On the House floor Wednesday, the Republican said the act flies in the face of federal law, which has jurisdiction over immigration.

“I think we should let the federal government do their job and get rid of these people!” Sampson shouted, referring to MS13 gangs and other “criminal illegal aliens.”

The Trust Act passed unanimously in 2013, and Sampson himself voted for it. Outraged Democrats opposed Sampson’s effort to now dismantle the law.

Rep. William Tong, D-Stamford, chair of the Judiciary Committee, noted that the Trust Act has exceptions that permit local police to hold those undocumented immigrants convicted of felonies, identified gang members and terrorists and other serious criminals. He called the amendment striking the law “an affront” and said it would make towns less safe.

After over an hour of debate, the amendment was voted down with 85 members — all Democrats and some Republicans — in favor of keeping the Trust Act, and 62 Republicans casting votes to strike the act. Three members did not vote.

emunson@hearstmediact.com; Twitter: @emiliemunson