A California Republican lawmaker has introduced a referendum that would deport violent felons who are in the state illegally.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the bill by state Sen. Tom Berryhill (R-Modesto) would put the issue before the voters on the ballot in 2018. If approved, the mandate would become part of the California Constitution.
“We’re concerned about the public’s safety in California,” Berryhill told the Times.
Berryhill’s proposal would only apply to those convicted felons who had committed one of the list of 23 violent offenses, which includes those below (courtesy of the Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation):
(1) Murder or voluntary manslaughter.
(3) Rape as defined in paragraph (2) or (6) of subdivision (a) of Section 261 or paragraph (1) or (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 262.
(4) Sodomy as defined in subdivision (c) or (d) of Section 286.
(5) Oral copulation as defined in subdivision (c) or (d) of Section 288a.
(6) Lewd or lascivious act as defined in subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 288.
(7) Any felony punishable by death or imprisonment in the state prison for life.
(8) Any felony in which the defendant inflicts great bodily injury on any person other than an accomplice which has been charged and proved as provided for in Section 12022.7, 12022.8, or 12022.9 on or after July 1, 1977, or as specified prior to July 1, 1977, in Sections 213, 264, and 461, or any felony in which the defendant uses a firearm which use has been charged and proved as provided in subdivision (a) of Section 12022.3, or Section 12022.5 or 12022.55.
(9) Any robbery.
(10) Arson, in violation of subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 451.
(11) Sexual penetration as defined in subdivision (a) or (j) of Section 289.
(12) Attempted murder.
(13) A violation of Section 12308, 12309, or 12310.
(15) Assault with the intent to commit a specified felony, in violation of Section 220.
(16) Continuous sexual abuse of a child, in violation of Section 288.5.
(17) Carjacking, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 215.
(18) Rape, spousal rape, or sexual penetration, in concert, in violation of Section 264.1.
(19) Extortion, as defined in Section 518, which would constitute a felony violation of Section 186.22 of the Penal Code.
(20) Threats to victims or witnesses, as defined in Section 136.1, which would constitute a felony violation of Section 186.22 of the Penal Code.
(21) Any burglary of the first degree, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 460, wherein it is charged and proved that another person, other than an accomplice, was present in the residence during the commission of the burglary.
(22) Any violation of Section 12022.53.
(23) A violation of subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11418. The Legislature finds and declares that these specified crimes merit special consideration when imposing a sentence to display society’s condemnation for these extraordinary crimes of violence against the person.
That raises the question: Doesn’t California already deport felons in the country illegally upon release?
The short answer is: sometimes.
After the passage of the Trust Act (AB-4 Ammiano) in 2013 — initially vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown because the 2012 version explicitly shielded a host of violent offenders from deportation — cooperation between law enforcement and federal immigration authorities has become highly politicized. As a result, that cooperation is inconsistent, according to a high level source in the LA County Sheriff’s department.
Berryhill’s bill goes one step further and would bar any ex-felon illegal alien who returned to California from receiving taxpayer-subsidized public assistance.
Berryhill assured the Times that this initiative is not politically motivated, and credits President Donald Trump with inspiring him to act.
“With the Trump administration doing what they’re doing, the timing seems to be good,” he said. “It’s on the forefront of everybody’s mind.”
This proposed measure is not likely to affect a large number of illegal aliens, and pales in comparison to Republican proposals of the past. Proposition 187, which passed overwhelmingly in 1994, would have denied all taxpayer-funded public assistance to anyone in the country illegally, period — even including K-12 education.
Tim Donnelly is a former California State Assemblyman.