Standing Up to Trump's Campaign of Division and Fear
Last week, Trump issued executive orders on immigration that disturbed and alarmed me and my Democratic colleagues and should alarm all Americans. I want to make sure you are aware of what we, as California leaders, are doing to respond to these actions.
Among other things, these executive orders call for building a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border, imposing an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria and other Muslim countries, aggressively enforcing federal immigration laws to the point of deporting immigrants without criminal convictions, and stripping states and local entities of federal funds when they do not comply with federal immigration policies.
I believe that violent felons should be deported. But for those who work hard and play by the rules, I also believe that the United States needs comprehensive immigration reform - a clear path to citizenship for those who are undocumented.
But Trump's executive orders go so far beyond responsible or ethical immigration policy. They are not only unnecessary and inconsistent with the nation of immigrants that we are, but fiscally irresponsible, unlawful and unconstitutional.
They represent a campaign of fear meant to divide families, threaten our economy and pit neighbors against each other. I also believe they will backfire. Instead of making us safe, they threaten the public safety of all us.
As a former prosecutor, I know that when people are afraid to come forward to report crimes because they fear law enforcement, the very people who are supposed to protect them, the public safety of all us will be compromised. When the job of law enforcement is diverted to imagined threats, they are less able to protect the communities we live in from genuine threats to our safety.
I also strongly believe we should not use taxpayer funds to build a wall, or persecute people based on their immigration status or religious beliefs.
This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee, which I chair, will hear bills which I support which are a direct response to Trump's threats against California's immigrants and our religious freedoms.
These bills are:
- Senate Bill 31 (Lara), which prohibits any state agency from providing information to the federal government about an individual's religious affiliation if it is to be used for the purposes of compiling a database of individuals based solely on religious affiliation.
- Senate Bill 6 (Hueso), the Due Process for All Act, which ensures that those facing deportation have adequate legal representation and due process.
- I also support SB 54 (de Leon) to prevent local and state resources from helping the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, be used to destroy families.
California is also prepared to take legal action, as necessary, to protect the rights of its citizens and our rights as a state, under the 10th Amendment of the U.S Constitution, to refuse to participate in a federal plan to deport undocumented immigrants.
In his inspiring State of the State address last week, Governor Jerry Brown reminded us that "immigrants are an integral part of who we are and what we've become. They have helped create the wealth and dynamism of this state from the very beginning." They continue to do so.
Immigrants are integral to our economy. At a time like this, as we are chilled with the reminder of times in history when the innocent were targeted because of their ethnicity, country of origin, or religious beliefs, I believe we should be working to bring our communities together, not tear them apart. Trump's actions do not represent the America that I know and love.
During this difficult time, I hope you will stay in touch. You can contact me by email, or follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson
State Senator, 19th Senate District