California sent a strong message on Monday when it voted to shut down state and local cooperation with the federal government on immigration enforcement.
That message: We care about illegal aliens more than we care about our tax-paying American (and Californian) citizens.
Senate Bill 54 makes the entire state a "sanctuary" by barring state and local law enforcement agencies from using any money, or for that matter any facility, property, equipment or personnel, to aid the federal government with its job of immigration enforcement. Under the bill, state and local authorities would be banned from asking about immigration status, giving federal immigration authorities access to interview a person in custody, or helping them in any way enforce immigration laws.
The bill sets aside at least $12 million in taxpayer money to pay lawyers for immigrants facing deportation.
"Our precious local law enforcement resources will be squandered if police are pulled from their duties to arrest otherwise law-abiding maids, busboys, labors, mothers and fathers," Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León said. "Trust will be lost. Crimes will go unreported for fear of deportation. Criminals will remain free to victimize others."
De Leon also went after President Trump, saying the move to make the en tire state a sanctuary "is a rejection of President Trump’s false and cynical portrayal of undocumented residents as a lawless community."
But California Sen. Jeff Stone, a Republican representing Riverside County, said the new bill won't work. "We're prohibiting local and state unfettered communications with federal authorities in getting many dangerous and violent felons out of our communities," Stone said. He said the bill will allow human trafficking, child abuse and other criminal acts, and called to mind the shooting death of a young woman by an illega alien.
"How many more Kate Steinles do we need?" he asked.
And he said the state can expect some retaliation for refusing to aid the feds. "By passing this today you'll be kicking the president right in the groin, and I can imagine he's going to strike back," Stone said.
Sen. Ted Gaines, a Republican from El Dorado Hills, said "If we don't control our borders, we cease to be a nation. We cannot become a beacon of lawlessness."
California is home to an estimated 2.3 million ill;egal aliens, according to the Associated Press. Expect that number to soar when this bill becomes law.