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.



Mr. Goonie’s opinion of CA is about as bleek as his ill-fated mayoral run.


Well now here’s a happy thought:

What if we let other countries deal with their own problems?

What if we stop sending aid to other countries? God knows

we have our own problems!

What if we stop manipulating other countries policies?

What if we stop invading other sovereign countries?

What if we focus on OUR COUNTRY? Our standard of living continues to tumble. What about a living wage? What about doing something about the lack of affordable housing? How about universal health care? What if we stop being the World Police? And why in the hell are we giving sanctuary to people who come here ILLEGALLY and then give them free healthcare for them?


There’s nothing at all wrong with stealing and/or counterfeiting money and giving it to the poor, whether they be brave immigrants or just hapless native poor people. The entire welfare state is based on this and has been functioning in a superb manor for many decades!

Proof: Medicare and Social Security.

Give everyone free everything and we’ll achieve paradise on earth. It just takes good governance and an educated electorate…..which we have in spades due to the amazing schools and colleges in CA.

Also, if you can’t pay your bills because your taxes are too high and the cost of doing business is prohibitive……quite bellyaching and go on the dole. Instead of setting your ambitions to be a productive or….gasp….rich person as a result of hard work and careful planning, why not achieve victim status? We can all be equal only if we’re all victims.

We can all have free everything, all the time. It’s not a math problem, it’s a political will problem.

Have faith in government.


Hey Keith, you may want to read a little bit before spreading the fib that high income individuals are leaving California—it’s fake news. Seems the opposite is happening. Good ole Cali is actually attracting “well to do taxpayers.”

If you have evidence to refute this, please present it. I hate columnists who play fast and loose with the facts.


Thank God the rich are moving into California. We are going to need their money to support the freebies and other giveaways.

As for this article, the author is correct in one key area. Businesses that don’t have to be in California are leaving. In the last year three of my friends have moved their businesses to other states. One, who owns a software company moved to Wyoming and two others who have internet based businesses moved to Nevada and took most of their employees with them.


Yet, despite all that hand wringing and alleged moving away of business—anecdotal evidence notwithstanding—California is referred to as one of the “major economic engines of the United States” with the fifth largest economy in the WORLD. SF is in the top twenty of cities with the most economic activity in the WORLD. There are four MILLION small businesses in the state and we produce nearly one half of the nation’s fruits and vegetables. Only negavtive: we do rank only fourth in the US behind smaller states Washington, Utah and Massachusetts whose economies have been roaring. We are, however, far ahead of Texas, which ranks 10th.

People like Gurnee, Gordo, DocT seem to ignore these facts and have been beating the same drum ever since 2008 when Jerry Brown was elected. Cry me a river! If it’s so terrible why do you still live here?


Because if I moved I wouldn’t get to be entertained on an almost daily basis by people like you!


Businesses are leaving for good reason.

California (Poverty And Taxes) And Texas (Jobs And Freedom): A Few Key Comparisons


So where are your facts to back this up? Actually Texas has a higher poverty rate than California:

California is also currently creating nearly as many jobs as Texas, just .3% less in 2018 and since 2008 the two states are nearly even.

California also has a far lower rate of those without health insurance. In fact, 25% of adults under 65 are without insurance in Texas while that number is under 10% in California.

As for freedom, I think you have to be more free if you actually don’t have to worry about getting sick or injured and the bankruptcy it would create. Moreover, I have traveled to Texas several times and felt no freer there than in California. Of course, I’m not a gun owner so I guess the fact they can tote their guns anywhere they want makes them freer. I guess.

Finally, as for property taxes, Texas ranks THIRD in the nation for highest property taxes. California is 32nd. I actually pay just slightly more in property tax than I did when I purchased my house in 1989.

Nice try though. You just keep believing in fairies and maybe one day they will suddenly appear.


Now, that’s what I’m talking about. It’s much easier to have a debate when facts are presented rather than just biased opinions. Good article, but funny that DeVore never mentions that property taxes are much higher in Texas than California. It also doesn’t mention that you would actually have to live in Texas to enjoy all the alleged benefits. I’ll stay in California, thank you. But, anyway, good job horse_soldier.


The number of illegal immigrants in the United States had steadily fallen under both the Bush and Obama administrations. It dropped from over 12 million in 2008 to 10.9 million in 2014 and continued to drop until 2017. In fact, the Obama administration deported more migrants than any administration in history. So, what happened in 2017. The Trump administration took over and badly exacerbated a problem which was under control. This is not to say that we don’t need comprehensive immigration reform, and Trump had a deal last year with Dems—who even pledged to give him money for building his wall in targeted areas, but not the absurd sea to sea monstrosity the president envisioned. Unfortunately, the hard right wing—which has Trump’s ear—wants to deport all illegals, even those who have never known any other country and are contributing to the economy—and, yes, paying taxes. I look forward to a day when Trump is out of the White House and the federal government can work on common sense reform, devoid of the demagoguery which Trump brings to every issue.


Where’s my Free stuff??? FREE! Wait a minute. I pay taxes for this stuff so it is in no way free. And these idiots want to give my taxes away to people that haven’t paid anything and are here illegally???




…other people who want Free S***

The Free S*** Army (FSA) has reached critical mass and now rules California.

George Garrigues

Thank you for your opinion, but wouldn’t it be better for the U.S. to aim to help these people before they have to flee their homes? You don’t mention anything about that. I hope to hear from you.


Why do we have to help everybody else when we can’t even take care of our own Vets? Wrong argument George, try again.


Because it may be cheaper for us to do so in the long run, and it would stem the tide of those seeking asylum.

Our drug policy creates, or at least exacerbates, their gang-cartel-problem. Our farmers create incentive to flee to USA. A paycheck and safety awaits in the USA. Would you stay there? Nope.


If only. Within months of becoming Governor, he didn’t visit the homeless, working poor in LA … Orange County … San Jose or Fresno … he instead flew to El Salvador to understand their situation better.

And we recently learned that tens of thousands of illegal immigrants get Federally subsidized housing, the average benefit being $8,000 per year!

George Garrigues

Hi. I checked, and it seems that this figure includes aid to families wherein at least one person is a legal U.S. resident. At least that’s what I found out: I’m sure you would be happy to hear this.

Rich in MB

This Golden Goose job creator and tax payer left California and was replaced with what….100 or even 1000 net tax takers? The Ponzi scheme of hammering the producers to coddle and reward the tax takers is about the pop. I will be saying I told you so from the safe side of Trumps Wall….in Mexico!


I’ll be out in The middle of the barren desert …so I can see them approaching


They’ll be having keg parties in Idaho to watch the Commiefornia riots on big screen TV when the music stops and everyone is scrambling for a chair.