Commentary

My Turn: Sanctuary state bad idea for California

In its continued quest to lead the nation in irresponsible governance, the California State Senate is moving forward with Senate Bill 54. The bill completely dismisses the millions of citizens who follow the law and want safe communities for their families and businesses. It’s also the latest embarrassing example of the Legislature’s cult-like devotion to ignoring the fundamental responsibilities of government while obsessing over issues allowing for maximum moral grandstanding.

SB 54 effectively would turn California into a “sanctuary state,” making it harder for state and local officials to turn over violent, illegal alien criminals to federal officials for deportation. California would be the safest haven for these felons and predators and would instantly become a magnet for every illegal alien criminal in the country.

We don’t need more. Even ardent supporters of the bill acknowledge that if SB 54 is passed and signed into law up to 20,000 violent criminals will be shielded in Los Angeles and Orange counties alone.

Recently Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted a standard immigration sweep in Southern California that resulted in more than 160 people being taken into custody. About 120 of those detainees had been previously convicted of serious, violent crimes such as robbery, assault and sex offenses. California shouldn’t allow illegal alien rapists, murderers and gang-bangers to be sent back to your neighborhood, mine or anyone’s neighborhood to commit more crimes, but they are all but guaranteeing a new set of victims by making us a sanctuary state.

SB 54’s author said during a hearing on the bill, “Any individual, irrespective of who they are and where they come from, who commits a heinous crime, we don’t want them in our neighborhoods, don’t want them in our communities, don’t want them in our state, we don’t want them in our nation. Period.”  Then, with no sense of irony, he presented a bill to protect them from deportation.

Meanwhile, the 200,000 people fleeing a potential mega-flood in Oroville are probably scratching their heads wondering why the state government is working on harboring illegal alien criminals, mandating background checks for ammunition purchases, pumping out laws and rules about a microscopic universe of transgendered, or wearing out their throats screaming about President Trump, when the state is falling apart?

Oroville threatens unimaginable damage. We haven’t built major state water storage since the late 1970s even though our population has roughly doubled since that time. That’s malfeasance.

Our roads are a crumbling mess. We pay some of the highest gas taxes for potholed streets that feel like they’re paved with cobblestones and cramped highways that stretch commutes and keep us from moving goods around the state.

Our schools continue to be some of the nation’s worst even though K-12 education spending is checking in at more than $70 billion this year, up around $25 billion just since 2011. Is this what taxpayers should expect for that massive investment?

With our dams threatening disaster, roads falling apart and schools failing our children, would your first thought as a politician be: “Quick, let’s ban plastic grocery bags!”?

Californians are getting the worst possible civic deal. They’ve got a government that is diving down the Progressive rabbit hole, reaching into every aspect of their lives and charging them an arm and a leg to do it. At the same time, government is neglecting the very basic infrastructure that every citizen depends on. With public safety, they are fighting to actually make it worse.

The once-golden state is falling apart because government is ignoring the issues of the many for the issues of the few. To help all its citizens, California must repair and expand the state’s physical capital. It’s time to get building.

Sen. Ted Gaines represents the 1st Senate District, which includes all or parts of Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra and Siskiyou counties.

Special to Village Life

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