Given the nature of the legislation where state law enforcement would refuse to co-operate with federal agencies to locate and deport undocumented residents who run afoul with the law, why would the GOP desire passage and have Governor Brown sign the bill that they have bitterly opposed?
The answer is simple. When SB-54 backfires with federal funds being taken away from California law enforcement along with what is sure to be a higher crime rate, voters are bound to take out their frustrations out at the ballot box. The Republican Party of California despite having less than one third of the seats in the Legislature and no statewide office holders may well find itself in a place to gain power once again that has long eluded them.
With California’s tight budget impaired by pension shortfalls for State workers and public assistance given to undocumented residents, losing funds from Washington, D.C., might not prove to be universally popular. Law enforcement and victims of crime are especially effected by the collateral damage SB-54 brings. This is especially true in suburban areas where the sanctuary city movement is weakest.
Where the state would be especially vulnerable is if illegal aliens/undocumented residents are not turned over to ICE and then commit serious crimes. How this could is justified by political leaders such as SB-54’s sponsor Assemblyman Kevin de Leon and candidate for governor Gavin Newsom? Is it possible to hold a pro law and order stance while trying to rationalize the victimization of the next Kate Steinle?
Even if Federal law enforcement funds being taken away from California by the Trump administration are replaced by revenues from the state budget, critics will surely claim sanctuary city legislation will result in fewer pot hole type repairs being taken care of. Even in the highly taxed progressive Golden State, there may limits of how far residents can be pushed in the name of social justice.
Public safety workers in general have been under attack by liberals in California and throughout the rest of the country. From New York with Mayor Bill de Blasio reigning in the police, to Chicago, Ferguson, Los Angeles and San Francisco, law enforcement has been put under increased scrutiny, especially in their dealings with African American citizens.
Use of deadly force, racial profiling and statistical analysis has placed law enforcement in a difficult position trying to justify their policies. Combined with civilian review boards, body cameras and politically correct interrogation procedures, those in Blue have had to adapt to what charitably can be termed defensive law enforcement procedures.
Also playing a role in the battle against crime circa 2017 has been the increased number of unprovoked violent attacks on police officers. It doesn’t take a genius to determine that this alarming trend has been enhanced by negative media coverage they have received from the fifth estate.
The bad press received by policeman has wormed its way into the local political spectrum. Recently, a group of about 400 protesters crashed a Berkeley City Council meeting to protest their involvement at an Urban Shield Expo put on by the department of Homeland Security.
The purpose of Urban Shield is to show new equipment, strategies and practice exercises to assist some 40 law enforcement agencies combat terrorist threats and violent demonstrations. As might be expected the prisoner rights organization Critical Resistance opposed advanced tactical training for law enforcement on the grounds it is oppressive, racist and discriminatory against racial minorities.
Despite a demonstration, shouting match and a couple arrests, even liberal Berkeley did not cave in (at least not that night) to having their police department skip the free federal training program. It was likely a good decision because in the past, law enforcement has been placed in multiple precarious situations in the wacky world of this progressive college town.
However, what occurred in Berkeley is not an isolated incident in California where virtually every aspect of law enforcement is challenged by well meaning groups who don’t especially like those who wear a badge. The first places they attack are any proposals to expand and modernize county jail facilities. Such tactics are the antithesis to the “build it and they will come” school of thought.
What makes this worse is that Federal dollars pay for most of these improvements. Sanctuary city proponents believe that not providing holding cells for illegal alien felons is an important component to their opposition to the activities of ICE.
Anyone wearing a uniform is subject to scrutiny by liberal media critics. Recently, extensive coverage was given to a hunger strike by some 72 inmates at Folsom correctional Institute. Sympathy was given to the prisoners who claimed lousy food, lack of exercise, isolation, poor medical care and substandard vocational training was making their lives miserable.
What wasn’t mentioned is that this group were not exactly Boy Scouts. They are serious felons who are part of an Administrative Segregation Unit. This means that those in this group have been accused of committing serious crimes while being incarcerated (including rape, murder, assault and drug smuggling). When in this program the state tries to determine if they should be prosecuted in order to add time to their mostly lengthy sentences. So if security is a bit tight with them …
Even with law enforcement being sliced and diced by progressive leaders in California, there is no move currently going on to do away with those who protect us from the bad guys. They play an important role when any type of trouble from robbery to domestic abuse ensues. A love-hate relationship has always existed between the two groups. This is why it is important for political leaders in Sacramento to be careful in their criticism of the police because one never knows when they will be needed.
Such an ever present reality is why Gov. Brown should be a follower of Aesop’s Fable reminder of “look before you leap” when it comes to signing SB-54 into law. Even though Brown is half way out the door in his fourth term, he should consider what might happen to his legacy if the sanctuary cities legislation backfires and brings his old Republican enemies into having a real say in state government once again.
Sb-54 may well turn out to be a Trojan horse in waiting. So beware of what you wish for Jerry!