Passing laws to break laws
December 17, 2016
OPINION by KEITH GURNEE
In its paroxysm of over-the-top liberalism, the new Democratic supermajority in California’s state legislature is introducing a package of bills to protect sanctuary cities and illegal immigrants. The legislature is poised to pass laws to create an $80 million public legal defense fund to block deportations of illegal immigrants, train public defenders to defend them, and mandate that state agencies refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
This legislative initiative is being proposed as a panicked response to the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States before he even takes office.
Few of us, including yours truly, were stunned that he actually won. As someone who believes that “building a wall,” and the mass deportation and breaking up the families of undocumented immigrants is going too far, we clearly need a more compassionate and measured reform of our state and national immigration policies. But should we embrace one form of political extremism with an equal and opposite reaction to another? We should be better than that.
While Trump has toned down his campaign rhetoric to initially target only the criminal element of illegal immigrants, California seems disturbingly determined to protect that very same element. Consider the San Francisco shooting death of Kate Steinle at the hands of a convicted felon who had been previously deported five times. Yet state Senate pro tempore Kevin de Leon argues that such steps are necessary to protect “California values.”
Has spending our public funds to defend the violators of our laws really become a “California value”? God forbid!
California has become a “monoparty”– a government of, by, and for one party. Some are even considering a California secession movement in answer to Trump’s election. Are they really thinking that California would be the 2017 version of 1861 South Carolina?
Contrasting views, even moderate ones, seem to be missing in action. Even little “r” republicans have become a rare and endangered species in California, and that “monoparty” seems determined to drive them to extinction. Now that it controls 2/3 of the state Assembly and Senate, it can enact urgency legislation that can become law immediately while remaining immune to a Governor veto.
Are we to stand by and tolerate the passage of new laws designed to break existing, long-standing ones? What would that say to those who came here legally from the south of the border? Should we support laws designed to protect those who violate our laws? And should we allow our state legislature to do so at the expense of our hard-earned tax dollars while risking the loss of federal funds to state and local government? Has this type of fiscal irresponsibility become a “California value?” Are we nuts?
Indeed, the Golden State has quickly become the State of Insanity.