By Joe Guzzardi
March 6, 2017
California and Mexico, acting separately but with similar goals, are on a fast track to subvert President Trump’s commitment to federal immigration law enforcement.
In the Sacramento state assembly, legislators are working furiously to enact what would be the nation’s largest legal defense fund on behalf of California’s two million-plus aliens. The legislation currently under consideration is similar to the $3 million 2014 statewide program to provide legal counsel to unaccompanied Central American minors that surged the U.S.-Mexico border.
The proposed defense fund would rely mostly on state taxpayer dollars. Projections indicate that the version working its way through Sacramento would draw $12 million from the state’s general fund, and also create the California Representation Trust fund to accept donations from private foundations and charitable organizations. Other California cities and counties have passed or are considering similar legislation; among them are sanctuary cities Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose.
Sacramento is panicked over President Donald Trump’s enforcement actions which have resulted in the arrest and removal of but a tiny fraction of California’s illegal alien population. Many of the removals are felons that the state should be happy to be rid of. But remember, we’re talking California where seemingly all but the most egregious, violent criminals are welcome.
While Gov. Jerry Brown is onboard philosophically with the fund, he may pause before signing it. California faces a $1.6 billion deficit this fiscal year, and Brown’s critics raked him over the coals for neglecting the Oroville Dam, desperately in need of repair, while spending lavishly on alien entitlements. But Brown is term-limited out, and the smart money is that since he’s not politically vulnerable, he’ll sign the bill when it hits his desk.
The only individual more anxious than Gov. Brown to see Mexican aliens remain in California may be Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto, at odds with President Trump since talk began about a border wall to separate the two countries. Mexican officials gave Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and John Kelly, the head of the Department of Homeland Security, the cold shoulder when they visited Mexico last month. Then last week at President Pena Nieto’s direction, Mexico accelerated its resistance to alien removal when it announced that it would provide legal assistance to illegal immigrants at its 50 consular and embassy offices nationwide.
In its carefully worded statement, the Mexican Foreign Ministry said that the offices “are specifically designed to provide consular assistance as well as legal representation to all Mexican migrants who require support in America.” Mexico has allocated about $54 million for staffing and will hire 320 temporary workers to facilitate its mission that will include printing birth certificates for aliens without them.
While Mexico’s intentions toward its nationals that live in the U.S. may be humanitarian, an economic incentive can’t be ignored. Remittances from Mexican nationals sent back home account for $25 billion annually, and are the country’s second highest revenue source, an income stream that Mexico wants to protect.
President Trump has his work cut out for him. California is bending over backward at the expense of citizens to protect illegal immigrants. Mexico is actively engaged within the U.S. to help its nationals violate U.S. federal law. But President Trump has the American public on his side. A recent survey found that 77 percent of respondents believe illegal immigration is either a “very serious” or “somewhat serious” problem, strong motivation for the president to keep on his course to deport illegal immigrants.
A Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow, Joe’s email is [email protected]. Find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.