Governor Newsom and the sanctuary state

May 26, 2019
T. Keith Gurnee

T. Keith Gurnee


Gov. Gavin Newsom, having recently released his revised 2019-2020 California budget with its highly touted $21.5 billion surplus, is doubling-down on welcoming thousands of undocumented immigrants flooding across our border. Not only is Newsom throwing more gasoline on the volatile human crisis at the border, he’s now calling for California taxpayers to foot the bill for providing health coverage for those coming here illegally.

But here’s the real dichotomy. At the same time California’s border is being besieged, we are witnessing an exodus of job-creating companies and well-to-do taxpayers fleeing high-tax California for other low-tax states. While Newsom’s Sanctuary State might be a great refuge for the inflow of undocumented immigrants, it’s not for the outflow of California’s well-to-do taxpayers.

The “inflow” crisis

The rate of undocumented immigrants flowing across America’s southern border has not only hit an all-time high, it’s accelerating. This past March and April, upwards of 106,000 illegals per month have entered the United States, outstripping our country’s abilities to handle this flood. Now, in the month of May, that rate has increased to 4,500 to 5,000 immigrants per day, pushing it up to 150,000 per month.

Consider this. This rate of illegal immigration is equivalent to adding a city the size of Waco, or Yuma, or Las Cruces, or San Mateo, or Santa Maria each and every month.

Should this trend continue over a twelve-month period, we’ll be importing 1,500,000 undocumented immigrants into our country. That’s roughly the size of such U.S. cities as San Antonio, or San Diego, or Phoenix, or three times the size of Albuquerque, the largest city in New Mexico per year.

It took all of these cities well over 150 years to reach their current populations and meet their infrastructure, economic, educational, and social needs. Yet we continue to tolerate thousands flooding our borders with no housing, no funding, no jobs, little or no education, and no means of support.

And now Newsom wants us to pay for health care for those here illegally? How is this sustainable? And what does this say to those Latinos, Asians and other immigrants from foreign lands who worked so hard to learn our language and become naturalized American citizens, only to see undocumented immigrants rewarded in this way?

And the “outflow” crisis

California is one of the highest taxed states in the USA. California’s top bracket income tax rate of 13.3 percent is the highest in the nation. California’s sales tax rates and gas taxes are also rank among the highest in the land. Yet California continues its wasteful spending. In the face of this, an increasing exodus of job-creating companies like Tesla and others are fleeing California for more tax-friendly states like Nevada, Texas, and North Carolina. This bodes ill for California’s ultimate solvency.

Before his election in 2018, Newsom advocated increasing the heavy tax burden on only the wealthiest Californians to accomplish his big government agenda. With the top 5 percent of well-to-do Californians already paying 80 percent of California’s current income tax revenues, many of those taxpayers aren’t taking it anymore. Indications are that they too are fleeing to states without income taxes.

A friend, a former Californian who once paid very high state income taxes, moved to Reno, Nevada, a no- income tax state, in 2006. After becoming a developer, he told me that every house, lot, and condo he developed in the last three years has been sold to wealthy emigrants fleeing California. Many other once successful people here have also moved there or to other states without or with much lower income taxes.

With California’s crumbling infrastructure, its insecure water resources, and the billions it’s been wasting on that bullet train to nowhere that recently lost $1 billion in Federal funding, California is a troubled state utterly lacking in fiscal discipline. With California, its cities, and counties awash in the unfunded liability of hundreds of billions of dollars in public pension debt with little prospect of paying it off, its troubles will only get worse.

Then add on the financial burden of $98 million to $3.2 billion per year to provide health care for thousands of illegal immigrants per year as a further incentive for California’s companies and taxpayers to look for greener pastures.

Which begs the question: if these trends continue, who will be left to pay California’s bills?

What’s the solution?

Control the “inflow”, staunch the “outflow,” and enact comprehensive immigration reform.

California needs to end its Sanctuary City and Sanctuary State policies that only exacerbate the tragedies of human trafficking, the drugs crossing our border, the human suffering, and the loss of innocent American lives at the hands of illegal deportees.

Meanwhile, California should take some serious steps to address the issues affecting its solvency by cutting taxes and reducing its spending to help stem the outflow of job creators and high-earning taxpayers to low tax states.

Instead, Newsom should consider doing three things:

Pledge to end his sanctuary policies provided Washington D.C. enacts comprehensive immigration reform within a three-month period.

Work on statewide tax reform and reduce taxes to spur California’s economy and make California a “sanctuary state” to keep job-creators and taxpayers in California rather than repelling them.

Use part of his $21.5 billion surplus to help pay down California’s public pension debt rather than imposing yet another financial obligation to fund health care for non-Americans.

Would Newsom have the political courage to take on such initiatives? As the architect of sanctuary policies, it’s highly doubtful. If he doesn’t, the least he should do is put his sanctuary policies to a public vote. But If he does, he’d be a national hero for helping solve one of the most vexing issues of our time.

It’s time for Congress to do the people’s work. Both Republicans and Democrats need to back off their hardened positions, quit acting like children, and come together to find common ground on a workable immigration policy.

Comprehensive, compassionate, and enforceable immigration reform is essential to ending the bitter political divide over this issue.


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Francesca you sound like Nancy.Pelosi. Bet as close you ever came to an illegal was your maid or gardener who both had to be.polite to El Jeffe. Try living Los Angeles or the San Fernando Valley where the infestation really makes one miserable! California was a nice place to live 50 years ago before the hordes invaded and the Liberals got into State government..

Gavin Newsome and the Demorats are ruining California.

Would the last American out of California please take the flag?

AmericaTheFree, the crock’s on you. I’m not protecting the Democrat’s historical squandry of our tax dollars on public employees, I’m trying to figure out how we will deal with the impending Day Of Doom for California’s insolvency. Shall we ignore it as you would? Then you pick up the tab…

Um, squandry? Maybe you meant squandering—spell check IS available on this site. Truth is that when Jerry Brown and an entirely Democratic legislature took power in 2010, California’s economy was in the dumper—we got rid of Arnold and McKlintock and the rest of the idiots and grew our way out of the worst downturn since the Great Depression.

Eight, now nine years of prosperity have followed with balanced budgets all around. When, pray tell, will this day of doom arrive? Oh, I guess it will be when the Republicans get back into office…but, Cali too smart for that now. Guessing Democrats will rule this state far into the future.

“Use part of his $21.5 billion surplus to help pay down California’s public pension debt rather than imposing yet another financial obligation to fund health care for non-Americans.”

What a crock of unadulterated bullchit!

“CalPERS and CalSTRS have reported gaps of more than $138.9 billion and $107.3 billion, respectively, between their estimated obligations to retirees and the current value of their assets.” (a)

That’s what? $244 billion?!!!! That’s more than what reportedly illegal immigration cost the country as a whole ($116 billion annually) (b). What would all of that $21.5 billion do, let alone a portion of it, to pay down a system that is so far in the red it can’t be bailed out. Nope, all you’re suggesting is perpetuating a broken ass system that needs to be overhauled.

Now you sound like a Democrat, protecting your base of public employees that benefit from a pension system that is costing us taxpayers billions.

Someone else has already brought up all the taxes and Social Security benefits these people bring in and will never collect from, but a usual your sour grapes over losing to a “new progressive” cloud common sense.

Yea, we’re a sanctuary state; but only to those who are public employees sucking off the tit of taxpayers for billions!!!!



to heck with statistics, if you own and pay taxes in both California and Hill Country Texas as I do, you know there is NO reason other than weather or family ties to live even part-time in California.

To wit Texas: most county residential building permits are NONE at all or ridiculously easy to get. California, eighty grand in fees but don’t worry, you won’t get permits anyway so no cost.

Texas: yes a higher RATE per dollar, but lower values mean lower actual taxes. California: six or eight or twelve grand depending upon the house, PLUS a punishing state income tax.

Texas: a spirit that existed in California in the 1950’s, of prosperity, liberty, individualism. California: a pile of roadblocks, failing highway potholes and crazed liberal extremism that can only be described as a MORASS.

Texas: liberty. California: ownership of your grandfather’s inherited high-capacity pistol magazine can make you a FELON. In prison. Tens of thousands in defense costs.

Sure, like the zoning regulations, or lack there of, which caused millions, if not billions of dollars of damage in the Houston area because greedy developers ignored warnings by scientists and regulators not to build in flood zones.

And, like I’ve said before, if you’re the gun-toting type, Texas is made for you. But, not my cup of tea. I’ll take my low property taxes—compared to Texas which has the third largest property taxes in the nation—and pay my state tax. I get to live only a few miles away from the Pacific Ocean—priceless at any cost, in my opinion.

Also, I’m pretty certain that the spirit of “prosperity, liberty, individualism” still exists in the Silicon Valley where entrepreneurs are consistently reinventing technology and producing millionaires.

But, enjoy Texas. Been there many times. Not even in the same league as California for livability.

“Gun toting” type? Never owned one in my life. Take 2 Xanex and call me in the morning…

I’m sure glad that you can own a million dollar plus home in California and have to pay $12,000 a year in property taxes. We should all be so lucky.

” there is NO reason other than weather or family ties to live even part-time in California.”

We have lots of reasons. That said you sound unhappy, you should move because California will never be like Texas. You can compare all you want, It’s not going to happen.

Good news Texas is ending the requirement for plumbing licences statewide. Soon you can have the really cheap plumbing repairs.

“…California..never…like…Texas” Au contraire, Kettle, I’m there a LOT and my place is an hour out of Austin, where I can be KNEE DEEP in music bars, sanctuary city, exotic food, and California-import LIBERALS. Augh, gives me the shivers.

But since I’m there much and feel now a Texan at heart, help me out Kettle….WHAT pray tell are INDOOR plumbing repairs?

Gotta love Austin. A bastion of liberalism in a sea of red MAGA hats. Nothing better than staggering out of a bar at midnight after listening to some great honky tonk, or Jazz, or rockabilly, or etc, and seeing the lit-up capital dome. Truly a beautiful city.

What a load of BS. California is the 5th largest economy in THE WORLD. That is counting a lot of countries. Any of ya’ll who feel like you’re being ripped off here should probably go to one of those “red” states that California supports to the tune of, in the case of Mississippi, $2.17 for every dollar they are sending to the feds. “Commies”????. What are you smoking? We have so many wealthy people here that the property values are thru the roof. Housing is almost unaffordable. And we should cut their taxes????? Get real.

As for the immigrants, over a ten year period, they contributed $63 BILLION more to the national economy than they cost. Not to mention that most of the ones crossing the border now are asylum seekers who are fleeing death squads in their own countries, most of them families and women with children, most who have lost family members to the violence. That violence has routinely been caused by our intervention to secure access to their resources. Ugly but true.

Furthermore, it is not illegal to seek asylum, but it certainly violates international law to separate families and put children in cages.

What is totally not taken into account by any of the ranting and xenophobic bias here is the fact that these people are here doing jobs that most of you do not want, making your food affordable and paying into Social Security, etc., which they will never be able to collect. But you will.

Yet you begrudge them a bit of medical care that would prevent unnecessary death and the spread of disease that would not exactly skip you and your family just because you’re “legal”.

What International law is that? Is that from your “legal” department? And while putting children in cages certainly cruel, whose fault is it in the first place? And as far your statement “begrudge them……..just because you’re “legal”, if a burglar breaks into your home are they “undocumented guests”? Should you give them dinner also? I have no problem with LEGAL immigration. But as far as illegal aliens, it’s another story. I lived in LA, San Diego, and Tucson. I know what I’m talking about as far as crime caused by illegals.

Thank you for proving the point that to post so much vehemence you must be unaware of not only the law but the roaring cognitive dissonance going on in your head. Not to mention judging everyone by the actions of criminals. Should I judge you by the actions of criminals? I do not think that any of us has that much more right to existence than anyone else. When faced with what the asylum seekers have gone thru, I wonder how much grace you would muster to travel thousands of miles to try to give your children a better chance than we gave them in their own country. Whose fault is it that those children are in cages? Look in the mirror.

Congratulations. Delusion suits you…