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California Democratic Super-majority Challenges Trump

California Democratic Super-majority Challenges Trump

Big red line now runs across the Sierras!

On the morning of Nov, 9th, California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, both Democrats, issued the following statement about Donald Trump’s Presidential victory:

“Today, we woke up feeling like strangers in a foreign land, because yesterday Americans expressed their views on a pluralistic and democratic society that are clearly inconsistent with the values of the people of California.

That same election created a Democratic Party super-majority within out state legislature, pretty much enabling it to pass any progressive policy Democrats can dream up.

Given this enormous power, what was its first order of business? Attacking President-Elect Donald Trump, of course!

Previewing an adversarial relationship between California and the federal government over the next four years, legislative leaders opened a new session on Monday by vowing to preserve California’s liberal agenda and passing a resolution rejecting President-elect Donald Trump’s hardline immigration stance.

Members of both houses directly confronted Trump’s tough-on-immigration rhetoric, which has included calls to deport millions and block immigration by Muslims. Lawmakers passed a resolution that says “California stands unified in rejecting the politics of hatred and exclusion” and exhorts Trump “to not pursue mass deportation strategies that needlessly tear families apart, or target immigrants for deportation based on vague and unjustified criteria.”

Forget the millions of tax-paying Californians who voted for Trump precisely because he identified the significant problems associated with illegal immigration. Forget about families such as the Stienles who have had family members killed, robbed, raped, and beaten by illegal alien criminals.

Apparently, the main goal of our Democratic legislators is catering to one of the most reliable Democratic Party constituencies (outside of dead people)!

Priorities.

Sacramento’s posturing borrows heavily from Hollywood dramas:

State Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, introduced a bill Monday in the state legislature that would fund legal representation for noncitizens facing deportation. Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, introduced a bill that would train public defenders on immigration law and the potential consequences of criminal proceedings.

“The Senate condemns in the strongest terms bigoted, racist, or misinformed descriptions of the immigrant community that serve only to foment hatred and violence,” the resolution says. “The Senate supports a comprehensive and workable approach to solving our nation’s historically broken immigration system.”

The editorial of the Sacramento Bee made an astute point: What is the actual price-tag for all this anti-Trump legislation?

Hueso said the price tag for both bills might be $10 million to $80 million. Either number is relatively small in a $172 billion budget. But the size of the spread suggests the ideas need plenty of work before they become law.

Hueso said the lawyers who counsel people in immigration court would not be government employees, but rather private attorneys. But just as the cost of such a program is not clear, there are questions about whether there are enough lawyers with proper training to represent the thousands of people who face deportation annually.

There has been a lot of noise about #CalExit, and organizing Californians to leave the Union. However, what are the rules about the federal government jettisoning a state, if any? Trump may want to weigh his options.

Of course, perhaps this focus on Trump is a blessing in disguise. The Los Angeles Times offers the legislative super-majority a quite a “honey do” list (e.g., tax restructuring, affordable housing programs, and climate change controls) with a chilling admonition: Use your power judiciously.

Perhaps Trump can distract Sacramento until 2018, when perhaps we can vote in a little more balance?

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Comments

I believe that exactly how much control states have over immigration policy was settled in the Arizona lawsuit several years ago. The courts ruled that immigration is the EXCLUSIVE province of the federal government and the states have NO authority to act against federal immigration policy. The California assembly may pass all the resolutions that they want, but they are not worth the value of the paper they are written on, if they go against federal law or legal policy.

    MattMusson in reply to Mac45. | December 6, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    1/3rd of all the people on Public Assistance in the USA live in California. Looks like they are shooting for 1/2.

    Rick in reply to Mac45. | December 6, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    As a California resident only because my kids and grandkids live here, which I caused, I hope that Trump smashes the California leftists, who have destroyed this once-great state.

      JoAnne in reply to Rick. | December 6, 2016 at 3:05 pm

      We left in 2011. Kids and grandkids are still there but there are rumblings that a couple may be making plans to join the sane part of the nation.

    dunce1239 in reply to Mac45. | December 6, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Sounds like the unwritten law of unintended consequences because if i remember right that decision was because AZ was trying to arrest and deport illegal aliens and the open borders bunch shut them down. Beating them with their own stick.

      IIRC, the AZ decision said that because immigration laws are federal laws, federal agents have to enforce it; states can’t take it up when the Fed.gov refuses to act.

      Unfortunately for California Democrats, that door swings both ways. The incoming Trump Administration could very well decide to enforce immigration laws good and hard, and there’s little the state can do about it other than virtue signal and get their federal funds withheld (which with as many public assistance recipients as California has, would HURT!).

        Milhouse in reply to Archer. | December 6, 2016 at 5:08 pm

        There is much the state can do. The feds don’t have the resources to effectively enforce immigration law all by themselves. They depend on local cooperation, which needn’t be forthcoming. Hence “sanctuary cities”. And any funding cut must be small enough that the recipient can afford to turn it down.

          ConradCA in reply to Milhouse. | December 6, 2016 at 9:44 pm

          What about compliance with federal law? Can the politicians be charged under RICO for helping illegals break our laws?

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | December 7, 2016 at 2:09 am

          What part of this don’t you understand? States and their subsidiaries cannot be compelled to enforce federal law. They have the right to refuse, and there is nothing the federal government can do about it. Any law that purports to order them to cooperate is by definition invalid. None of this is at all new. How do you think NY (state and city) got away with not enforcing prohibition?

    We hear a lot about the Fed.gov’s threat to withhold federal funds from states who refuse to follow federal laws. Under Obama, it’s usually pointed at states that pass “Firearms Freedom Acts” or “Second Amendment Protection Acts”, which provide criminal penalties for federal agents who enforce federal gun laws.

    Unlike Obama, however, the Trump Administration may actually have the cojones to go through with it on states who refuse to follow immigration laws.

    Imagine withholding federal funds from the monetary black hole that is California, and forcing them (the Democrat super-majority) to balance their own damn budget AND pay for the Medicare/Medicaid/SNAP/TANF benefits the Fed.gov normally provides. Like MattMuson said above, California has about 1/3 of all public assistance recipients. That’s a LOT of cash for one state to be hemorrhaging.

    The wailing and gnashing of teeth will be music to my ears.

      Milhouse in reply to Archer. | December 6, 2016 at 5:10 pm

      Trump would not be able to do it, any more than 0bama could. The law is clear, that federal funding cannot be used to force compliance with federal policy. It can be used to persuade, but only so long as the cut is small enough that the state or local entity still has the choice to comply and get the extra funding or refuse and forfeit it. The moment the cut becomes so high that the recipient is left with no choice, it becomes illegal.

        Arminius in reply to Milhouse. | December 7, 2016 at 2:06 am

        This is completely incorrect. If federal funding, such as law enforcement block grants, are contingent on the state or municipality cooperating with federal law enforcement enforcement then the feds can withhold that funding until the state or municipality agree to comply with the conditions the federal government has placed on the monies.

        What the federal government can not do is withhold federal funds that were never based upon the condition of cooperating with federal law enforcement. So the feds can’t withhold, say, funds for school lunch programs that are unrelated to cooperating with the feds on immigration law enforcement.

        This was why Roberts reasoned that Obama’s scheme to force states to expand Medicaid unconstitutional. Obama (OK, technically Congress, but the Democrats who passed the law without a single GOP vote were doing Obama’s bidding) offered states increased Medicaid funding if they relaxed the rules governing Medicaid eligibility so more people would be eligible despite making too much money to qualify for it under the previous regime. But Obama also attempted to punish states that refused to expand Medicaid by not only withholding the increased funding but taking away Medicaid funding they were already getting. Money that was unrelated to complying with this new federal program.

        Whether the state or municipality decides it can’t “afford” the cut is irrelevant. If a state or municipality takes federal money that comes with conditions, then the state or municipality must comply with those conditions in order to receive the money. This requirement remains whether or not a prior administration has enforced those conditions. But the federal government can not punish a state into cooperating with federal law enforcement or implementing a new federal program by withholding money that was never contingent on cooperating with federal law enforcement or implementing a particular federal program.

        Now if you were talking about the individual mandate you would have been correct. Roberts writing for the majority reasoned that as a tax it was constitutional. But it only remains constitutional as long as it remains so low that it does not force people to buy health insurance. If an administration were to raise the tax to such a level that an individual has no choice but to buy health insurance to avoid the tax then it becomes an unconstitutional penalty.

          Milhouse in reply to Arminius. | December 7, 2016 at 2:17 am

          What you write is correct, but supports rather than opposes what I wrote. What current grants are contingent on cooperation with immigration enforcement? Congress can offer new funding with such a contingency built in, but it can’t cut existing funding or add such a clause to it.

          You’re wrong, however, when you wrote “Whether the state or municipality decides it can’t “afford” the cut is irrelevant”. Congress can cut existing funding, even if it was never contingent on cooperation with federal law enforcement, but only if the cut is small enough to be affordable, so that the state is merely being persuaded rather than compelled to comply. In South Dakota v Dole a 5% cut in highway funding was considered low enough to be constitutional. A 50% cut would clearly not have been acceptable, and nor would a 5% cut in total state funding.

          Arminius in reply to Arminius. | December 7, 2016 at 3:02 am

          JAG and SCAAP are two grant programs that were contingent on the recipients cooperating with federal law enforcement, and had been throughout the entire Obama presidency. It was only in July that Congress brought they Obama administration to heel.

          Sanctuary cities and states lose this grant money in their entirety. The effect on state or local budgets is irrelevant.

          See below.

        catscradle in reply to Milhouse. | December 7, 2016 at 7:38 pm

        Whoa, didn’t Obama threaten every school in America with funding cuts if they did not follow his isane open bathrooms policy?

    Milhouse in reply to Mac45. | December 6, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    States have never had any control over immigration policy. What has that got to do with the price of fish? Your claim that “the states have NO authority to act against federal immigration policy” is flat-out wrong. They can’t stop federal officials from doing their job, but they’re not proposing to do that. They can do anything they like to frustrate federal immigration policy, such as forbidding all employees of any state or local government from providing the feds with any information or cooperating in any way with deportation, providing free legal advice to anyone the feds want to deport, denying whatever permits the feds might need, etc.

      Arminius in reply to Milhouse. | December 7, 2016 at 2:30 am

      Again, incorrect. States and municipalities can not take any action they wish to frustrate federal law enforcement if they wish to get certain federal funds. In fact your example of what they can do, “such as forbidding all employees of any state or local government from providing the feds with any information or cooperating in any way with deportation,” is the one thing they can not do. It’s illegal.

      As a matter of fact, last summer Congress forced the unwilling Obama DoJ to acknowledge this and enforce existing law.

      http://dailycaller.com/2016/07/07/justice-department-cuts-off-federal-law-enforcement-grants-to-sanctuary-cities/

      “In a surprise move on Thursday, the Obama Justice Department adopted new policies that will deny federal law enforcement grants to some “sanctuary cities.”

      According to guidance issued by the DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs, cities that refuse to honor Section 1373 of the United States Code will no longer be eligible for the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program (JAG) and the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) grants.

      Section 1373 prohibits “government entities and officials from taking action to prohibit or in any way restrict the maintenance or intergovernmental exchange of [immigration status] information, including through written or unwritten policies or practices.”

      local governments must also make an effort to inform employees of the updated guidance.

      “Personnel must be informed…federal law does not allow any government entity or official to prohibit the sending or receiving of information about an individual’s citizenship or immigration status with any federal, state or local government entity and officials,” reads OJP’s ruling.

      The update also clarifies that state governments are not allowed to provide subgrants to cities that violate Section 1373.

      Despite the change, the Obama administration is not likely to cut off OTHER funding to sanctuary cities.”

      In other words, even the Obama administration had to acknowledge these law enforcement grants were contingent on the recipients at the very least complying with federal law that requires them to inform the feds of the immigration status of inmates. In fact, in order to receive these grants the recipients must assure and certify they are in compliance with all applicable federal statutes, regulations, policies, guidelines, and requirements.

      This is the law, and even the Obama administration had to concede the conditions placed on these monies are constitutional. But Obama vowed to fight tooth and nail to keep OTHER funding flowing to sanctuary cities and states as that is where Obama’s heart lies.

        Milhouse in reply to Arminius. | December 7, 2016 at 12:31 pm

        If those specific grants contained this condition, then of course you’re correct that they can and should be withheld from states that don’t comply with it.

        But Congress can’t forbid states from giving such orders to their employees; the tenth amendment protects their right to do so.

          Arminius in reply to Milhouse. | December 7, 2016 at 3:27 pm

          I never said they couldn’t issue such orders. I said if they do issue such orders the can’t expect to receive federal funds contingent on complying with 8 U.S. Code § 1373 – Communication between government agencies and the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

          And frankly my reading of the above statute is that if one of their employees defies such orders and communicates the immigration status of people in local or state police custody to the INS the local or state government can not retaliate against the individual.

          That would be an interesting case. The state or municipality may have the right to issue such orders, but their employees are still US citizens. They can assert their right to communicate to the federal government when they have knowledge of a person whose presence in this country is in violation of the law.

The immigration authorities should target sanctuary cities and any state that defies the law.

    dystopia in reply to cwillia1. | December 6, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    I want to personally thank Governor Brown for issuing driver’s licenses and voting cards to illegal immigrants. You have now given President Trump a basket of deportables with home addresses.

    Milhouse in reply to cwillia1. | December 6, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    Target how? They’re not breaking the law; they are 100% within their legal rights not to do the feds’ work for them, and to provide assistance to those who need it.

Trump will eat them alive!
Go ahead idiot liberals try to take on President Trump.
It will be your worst mistake in a long time!

The cost of lawyers to help illegals in the Federal system will be negligible in the main.

Virtually every law school in Kulhifornia that doesn’t now have one will start a legal clinic for the purpose, and people in law school can often practice law under the license of an instructor.

The state bar will lean on everyone with a bar card to provide some pro bono work, and most will.

All that will be perfectly legal and according to Hoyle.

And the noise about “mass deportations” is just that. Nobody believes that T-rump intends mass deportations.

    ecreegan in reply to Ragspierre. | December 6, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    I think there is a non-zero chance Trump plans to run every state’s voting rolls through e-Verify and deport every non-citizen, including otherwise legal immigrants, found to be registered to vote in U.S. elections. Does that count as mass deportations?

      Ragspierre in reply to ecreegan. | December 6, 2016 at 1:55 pm

      No.

      Next silly question.

        ecreegan in reply to Ragspierre. | December 6, 2016 at 2:22 pm

        Do you think that if there turn out to be five million non-citizens registered to vote and Trump issues orders to deport them all, the media and the Democrats will scream about mass deportations, separating families, voter suppression, innocent error, and whatnot?

        I’m not saying there *are* five million non-citizens registered to vote. I *am* saying that with the voting rolls we keep there’s no way to tell.

        Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | December 6, 2016 at 2:32 pm

        Remember that in some jurisdictions, as I understand, it’s perfectly legal for non-citizens to vote in all but FEDERAL elections.

        So, you’re hypo is WAY the fluck too theoretical for me. Plus, I doubt very much that T-rump is going where you imagine.

      Milhouse in reply to ecreegan. | December 6, 2016 at 5:13 pm

      The state can refuse to provide the feds with these electoral rolls, just as the feds under 0bama refuse to provide the states with access to their databases to check voters’ citizenship.

      ConradCA in reply to ecreegan. | December 6, 2016 at 9:46 pm

      That’s a win win for our country.

Trump wants to deport criminal illegals. But apparently California needs them to keep the democrat majority going.

Yes focus on Trump… Give him a reason to focus on California… If Trump can focus deportations on illegals in California to the point they lose congressional seats after the next census it is a win, win for everyone…

I know that secession thing didn’t work out too well the last time it was tried, but have we ever considered kicking a state out of the Union?

I think I have a candidate for the test case.

    dunce1239 in reply to NavyMustang. | December 6, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    A failed state is easier to deal with inside the union than outside the union. Our border would be hundreds of miles longer and even harder to defend and control.

we’re a special kind of stupid out here in #Failifornia…

Trump has proven himself to be the smartest man in the room.

He’s thought 10 moves ahead of these clowns.

PersonFromPorlock | December 6, 2016 at 12:35 pm

Trump should now establish a working group to aid California’s northern and central parts into forming a new state, while allowing the Proggy bits to leave the US if they want to. But split the state into two, anyway.

Cool! Cut-off all federal funding, enshrine in federal law that there will be no bailouts of states that bankrupt themselves, start the busses rolling from all around the nation for the next Great Migration of all illegals to California.

The best way to treat liberals is ot give them EXACTLY what they want…by the ton!

    Milhouse in reply to MJN1957. | December 6, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    Congress can’t cut off all federal funding; only a small amount, that the courts will see as painful rather than crippling, thus leaving the state with a meaningful choice.

      Arminius in reply to Milhouse. | December 7, 2016 at 2:47 am

      It doesn’t matter if the effect of withholding the money is devastating to the state or municipality. If the money is conditional on the state or municipality assuring and certifying that they are in compliance with applicable federal statutes then they have no “meaningful choice” to renege on those assurances and certifications as soon as the money is wired into their account, so to speak.

      Just as you or I have no “meaningful choice” to accept an advance after entering into a contract to perform a specific surface, then as soon as the money is in hand declare we have no intention of meeting the terms of the contract.

      You are correct that the feds can’t cut off all federal funding. If the funds are not contingent on the state or municipality sharing information on the citizenship and immigration status of individuals in police custody they keep the money.

      But if the funds are contingent on the state or municipality sharing citizenship and immigration status information with the federal government (as well as other applicable statures, regulations, policies, guidelines, and requirements) they lose it.

      Whether the loss of that funding is merely painful, crippling, or absolutely devastating to the state or municipality’s budget is irrelevant. No state or municipality has the “meaningful choice” of falsifying a federal grant application to receive money when they have no intention of complying with the conditions under which that money is offered.

        Milhouse in reply to Arminius. | December 7, 2016 at 12:35 pm

        You are of course correct that if a specific grant always contained this condition then it doesn’t matter how painful it is to the state to give it up rather than comply, it is not being compelled. After all, it did just fine before that grant was offered in the first place.

        Where I think you’ve gone wrong is in saying that funds without such a condition can’t be cut at all. South Dakota v Dole allows small cuts even to such funds, but only affordable ones.

          Arminius in reply to Milhouse. | December 7, 2016 at 3:10 pm

          I didn’t exclude the possibility that other funds can be cut, for a very simple reason. According to the Daily Caller article, the feds have provided states and municipalities with approx. $3.4B over the past five years through JAG and SCAAP. Yet according to other reporting SF stands to lose $1B in federal funding, and NYC $10.4 in federal money. The other reporting has been sloppier, but clearly we’re talking about the “sanctuaries” losing far more than that doled out in just the two programs I mentioned. But the reporting has been so bad I can’t even say with certainty that the figures I cited are per annum or over a period of time, let alone tell if all, some, or none of the funds they’re talking about are in any way contingent on cooperating with federal law enforcement. Since I haven’t been able to glean such details I simply stuck to sure ground.

          But I will cheerfully concede the point and simply say there are some things I am happy to be wrong about, Milhouse.

Henry Hawkins | December 6, 2016 at 1:13 pm

Isn’t it amazing how all these big centrist goverment liberals turn into states’ rights federalists on a dime. Huh.

Sierra not Sierras.

Give California back to Mexico and tell Oregon and Washington to straighten or they are next. Auction NYC off to anyone with good credit and give Detroit to Canada. Or just nuke California and start over like Japan post WW2.

CaptScientist | December 6, 2016 at 2:57 pm

I would charge every illegal I could find to get the courts tied up and to make cali spend as much money as I could….just absolutely make the court system a living hell.

    Ragspierre in reply to CaptScientist. | December 6, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    That’s kind of exactly what you DON’T want, and for these reasons…

    1. it won’t be Kulhifornia’s money that’s tied up, but the Federal INS funds, etc., and

    2. you want the courts to be able to deal VERY expeditiously with the real bad guys/gals in the system, PLUS

    3. the more you build delays into the system, the more people will just drift away into the hinterlands when they’re given re-sets.

      Exactly. The keyword here is Priority.

      Illegal criminal alien with history of violent crimes and previous deportation? No bail, no release, go directly to jail, serve out the sentence for violating the deportation order, and go directly *back* to the home country.

      Illegal criminal alien with no history either here or in Mexico? Bail *only* if can be proven not to be a flight risk and deportation afterwards.

      Illegal alien student in college studying for a STEM degree… possibly an area where a little flexibility can be applied.

      Remember, all though this process, the Dems will be looking for a ‘face’ to use. Maria, a single mother with two small children who works sixteen-hour days as a housekeeper in order to keep her little children, one of which has a heart condition, would be a perfect score for them. “Look at the evil Republicans, trying to kick this young woman out of the country and back into the war-torn country she fled! Shame!”

      dystopia in reply to Ragspierre. | December 6, 2016 at 3:55 pm

      Actually, its not a bad idea. While the Courts spend years and years sorting through the mess, soon to be pardoned former Sheriff Joe Arpio is available to run detention camps for these illegalies.

      The illegals and pro-bona California attorneys can a grande time fighting deportation while they languish Joe’s striped detention camps. Adios amigos.

    I hope you are not surprised to hear that California’s court system already is a living hell.

    ConradCA in reply to CaptScientist. | December 6, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Establish large camps out in the desert to hold the illegals for the 3 years it takes to process them thru the legal system before we are able to deport them.

      malclave in reply to ConradCA. | December 7, 2016 at 3:56 am

      That’s just inhumane. A better solution would be to seize estates owned by prominent Democrat politicians, activists and donors and house them there.

California trying to dictate to the Feds has the same obvious problem as Greece dictating how much money it wants from the Germans. California can’t expend unlimited resources because it doesn’t control the money. Unlike the Feds, it can’t play the “quantitative easing” game and print up more to pay its bills. It can only borrow … which turns the Greek analogy into an Argentinian one. Not an improvement.

Hillary won California, so give her all 55 EC votes. What’s the problem? Tell you what – you keep your sanctuary cities, and DC will keep your federal funding. Your move.

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