California Democrats used Monday’s swearing-in ceremonies in the State Assembly and State Senate to introduce and pass resolutions condemning President-elect Donald J. Trump’s rhetoric and his anticipated immigration policies.
House Resolution 4 (HR-4) states that “the Assembly condemns in the strongest terms bigoted, racist or misinformed descriptions of the immigrant community” and “urges the President-elect not to pursue mass deportation strategies that needlessly tear families apart to target immigrants for deportation based on value and unjustified criteria.”
HR-4, co-authored by Assemblyman Anthony Rendon (D-Panorama), also states: “… the Assembly implores the President-elect to reject any expansion of the ‘expedited removal’ process that operates without administrative oversight and robs individuals of due process.” It also “urges President-elect to continue President-Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), which grants ‘Dreamers’ — people who were brought into the country as children by their parents — a temporary reprieve from deportation.”
While the resolution correctly points out that “[i]mmigrants have always played an integral part in American history,” that the Golden State is “home to more foreign-born residents than anywhere else in the country,” and that “[a]pproximately one tenth of California’s work force is undocumented,” it ignores the challenges of large-scale illegal immigration, such as the burden on social and welfare services, increased economic competition among low-skilled workers, national security concerns, and other issues.
A similar resolution was moved through the State Senate by President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles). The Assembly resolution passed 57 to 14; the Senate resolution passed 27 to 3, with 10 abstentions, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.
The Associated Press reported that two other bills were also introduced Monday:
State Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, introduced a bill to fund lawyers for immigrants in deportation proceedings, while Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, proposed helping public defenders assess the immigration consequences of criminal convictions.
Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) responded to the resolutions in a speech accusing Democrats of sowing division and fear:
To everyone watching this today, make no mistake – this resolution was written in the darkness of night with the intention of making a national statement on your behalf without any process, conversation, or transparency. HR 4 is a politically self-serving attempt to cynically stoke fear and anxiety among Californians and the immigrant community – both legal and undocumented – living in California population – which is, in fact, the opposite of what its authors and supporters say they intend.
Of course this is a nation of nation of immigrants. Immigrants built America. Their energy and inventiveness, the patriotism with which they have embraced the United States are contributions beyond measure. They, we, have fought and died for American liberties and our way of life. We are all the fresh blood that keeps America young and renewed.
But this resolution isn’t about recognizing what no one is disputing. Instead, this is reckless demagoguery aimed at instilling fear, at making immigrants needlessly anxious and fearful about their future. It is beneath the dignity of this body.
I stand here today to tell you that our people ARE NOT political props, our hardworking Californian citizens will not be silenced, and our Legislature should not stand for the divisive political play that is being made here today. For this reason, I urge a NO voted on this resolution.
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter and Periscope @AdelleNaz