By Joe Guzzardi
October 17, 2011
California’s three newly minted laws that make illegal aliens’ lives more comfortable have sparked such outrage that Governor Brown is trying to deflect the blame back to the citizens who have called him and the state legislature onto the carpet.
The three bills are: 1) AB 131, the California DREAM Act that will give alien students access to taxpayer funded Cal Grants, 2) A.B. 353 which prevents police monitoring checkpoints from impounding vehicles driven by unlicensed aliens and 3) A.B. 1236 that forbids private and state employers from using E-Verify to confirm a new hire’s immigration status.
Little surprise then that struggling Californians fought back. Assemblyman Tim Donnelly filed a referendum petition to void the DREAM Act and a grassroots movement to recall Brown is reportedly underway.
Brown pretended to be dismayed at the reaction. In an interview he gave to television channel KCLA after his speech in Irvine to supporters, he called it “absolutely false” that tuition money given to aliens takes away funding from citizen children. Brown referred to his critics as “despicable” and charged them with creating “scare tactics”.
Not only are taxpayers, especially parents of college age students, fed up with the direction Sacramento is heading in, but police officers expressed dismay at the law that allows unlicensed aliens to retain their vehicles when stopped. Santa Maria police chief Dan Macagni, understating this recent legislation as “problematic,” said that within moments of being checked unlicensed drivers will be “back on the road and that puts all in danger….” Macagni should know. His Santa Maria town, with a large number of illegal alien residents, has the highest rate of hit and run incidents in the state—about half of all accidents—opposed to the 10 percent national average.
Californians have suffered through enough alien entitlements. While there always seems to be money for illegal immigrants, the state initiated $12.5 billion in spending cuts that reduced Medi-Cal, slashed services to the developmentally disabled, cut education funding and closed 70 state parks.
Other drastic measures, like the deep cuts to the Department of Justice’s law enforcement budget that specifically targets anti-gang and anti-drug programs, are less well publicized but just as harmful. A general fund reduction eliminated $71 million from the Division of Law Enforcement which, in turn, could lead to the loss of several hundred special agents and other personnel and the dissolution of 55 statewide task forces that coordinate responses to transnational gang and drug crimes. As a result, two entire law enforcement bureaus could be shut down, the Bureau of Investigations and Intelligence and the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement.
These same cuts were proposed but defeated in 2009 during Governor Schwarzenegger’s administration. The fight against crime and drugs, however, is more urgent today than two years ago. District attorney’s throughout California are unanimous in their opinions that they cannot keep California safe without adequate funding.
California Narcotic Officers’ Association President James C. Hodges points out that within the last two years, Mexican drug cartels have dramatically increased their statewide distribution. Police Chiefs Association President Dave Maggard adds that the cartels are now heavily involved in human sex trafficking as well as increasing their methamphetamine markets.
Despite the hardships so many Californians are suffering through, Brown has miraculously found enough money to subsidize aliens’ tuitions at the University of California and California State campuses.
Brown and other California legislators may feign surprise at the anger directed at them. Really, they’re lucky that Californians aren’t storming Sacramento.
Joe Guzzardi, a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow, has written syndicated columns about immigration and related social issues since 1986. Contact him at [email protected]