By Joe Guzzardi
May 2, 2016
As someone born and raised in California, I look back at the weekend’s events surrounding Donald Trump’s appearances in Costa Mesa, Burlingame and an anti-Trump Los Angeles May Day event with disbelief and sadness. Following a well-attended rally In Costa Mesa, hundreds of mostly young Latino anti-Trump activists bloodied the candidate’s supporters, threw rocks and debris at cars and smashed windows on vehicles including police cars. Ranchera music played at deafening levels.
In Burlingame the following day, another group of mostly college-age Hispanic demonstrators screamed vulgarities as they tried to block the Hyatt Regency entrance where Trump was scheduled to appear. Police in riot gear couldn’t keep the hostile crowd totally at bay. According to a Los Angeles Times report, an out-of-control youth punched and kicked an attendee whose offense was wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat.
Then, on May Day in Los Angeles, a 6,000-strong mob waving Mexican and American flags congregated somewhat more peacefully to demand “work papers,” and to denounce Trump’s restrictive immigration proposals. Even though violence and angry ultimatums are curious strategies for illegal immigrants who hope to convince skeptical Americans that they’re worthy of citizenship, some Hispanic organizations promise more of the same. A California Immigration Youth Justice Alliance organizer promised an “escalation” in angry behavior during the weeks ahead.
Unsurprisingly, the media seemed clueless about what was really going on in Costa Mesa, Burlingame and Los Angeles. Reporters almost universally referred to the agitators as “protesters,” much too mild a word to describe their tactics. Collectively, the so-called protesters are anarchists, bullies and intimidators organized by radicals to show up at Trump events to squelch free speech and to discourage pro-Trump enthusiasts from turning out for future events.
More important, reporters, even as they witnessed unruly crowds involved in criminal behavior, refused to acknowledge the extent to which immigration has transformed California, and how those changes have frustrated millions of the states’ taxpayers regardless of their party affiliation.
The Department of Homeland Security estimates that California is home to 2.8 million illegal immigrants, nearly doubled from 1.5 million in 1990. About one million illegal immigrants reside in Los Angeles County alone which makes it the nation’s single most populated county for aliens. Providing social services including education, medical care, law enforcement and various social services to illegal immigrants is a huge, ongoing financial commitment. One nonpartisan study pegs the total cost at $25 billion annually with education to California’s 1.4 million K-12 English Language Learners accounting for about $15 billion.
While working Californians continue to fund illegal immigration, Governor Jerry Brown has done nothing – literally nothing – to support enforcing federal immigration laws or to deter more illegal immigration. During Brown’s latest term, he rewarded illegal immigrants with driver’s licenses, the Trust Act which protects aliens from deportation, and Medi-Cal coverage for illegal immigrant children under age 19. Brown has also welcomed Central Americans to resettle in California. Little wonder that California’s citizens have such deeply embedded frustration. They’re now overtaxed and underrepresented.
Regardless of individual sentiment about immigration, and reasonable minds can differ, a democratic society cannot and must not tolerate anarchism. Peaceful assembly, yes; smashing police cars and sucker punching innocent bystanders, no.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. Contact him at [email protected]