By Joe Guzzardi
August 29, 2014
Every time I read a story about California, my heart breaks. As a native son, raised on Southern California’s beaches, I’m struggling to fathom why Governor Jerry Brown is so willing, indeed eager, to further undermine the state’s future.
I understand that during the five decades since I first hung out on an unspoiled, virtually empty Santa Monica beach, conditions have inevitably changed. But Brown’s recent irrational statement that all Mexican nationals, legal or illegal, are welcome in California stunned me. Even though I’m hardened to political pandering, Brown’s announcement that what he called “permission” to be in California doesn’t matter to him. Brown’s grandiose invitation, if accepted, would ravage California, already overcrowded with more than 38 million residents and with as many as 45- 50 million projected within 20 years.
Travelling throughout California with Brown, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said that “America is the other Mexico” and heaped praise on the governor for his generous treatment of illegal aliens, a reference to driver’s licenses, the TRUST Act that bars most aliens from deportation and the Dream Act. Peña Nieto, snidely suggesting that he respects American sovereignty, demanded comprehensive immigration reform “as a matter of justice.” Imagine the audacity of a foreign president coming to the U.S. and dictating the terms of his host’s immigration policy. Such an outrage is unheard of in most nations but par for the course for Mexico which has meddled in U.S. immigration law for decades. Mexico’s last three presidents—Ernesto Zedillo, Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderon—have brazenly lobbied for Mexican interests on their frequent trips to California.
More unskilled immigrants are the last thing California needs. California is already the United States’ poorest with more than 30 percent of the nation’s welfare recipients living in the state. California, America’s highest taxed, most regulated and most in-debt state with a $1.1 trillion deficit, can’t afford further to subsidize more people.
Then, there’s California’s biggest crisis, water or the lack thereof, ignored by the magnanimous Brown. Cal State East Bay professor of geography and environmental studies found that historically California has endured droughts of 20 years or more; the current drought is in year three. Although it’s obvious that more immigration means more water consumption, the correlation has escaped Brown.
Brown’s welcoming speech is especially troubling when weighed against the results of a recent Pew Research study. Pew found that 60 percent of Mexicans disapprove of Peña Nieto’s failed economic programs. When asked if they would move to the U.S. given the opportunity, 34 percent responded yes. Thirty-four percent represents more than 45 million of Mexico’s total population.
For Peña Nieto to visit California to lecture about the “rights of immigrants” while U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi enters his sixth month of languishing in a Tijuana jail proves how insincere the Mexican government is. During his trip, Pena Nieto never mentioned Tahmooressi. For that matter, neither did the equally disingenuous Brown.
Most galling is that Brown doesn’t have the authority to speak for California on immigration. Generations of Californians including my grandparents, parents, and me paid the taxes which built the roads, schools, and maintained the beaches which once represented the golden state. Yet a shameless Brown wants to give away to Mexico the California citizens built without consulting its stakeholders.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1987. Contact him at [email protected]