SACRAMENTO -- Donald Trump’s executive orders on immigration sent a strong message. Wednesday, California democratic lawmakers sent one right back.
“These measures are inconsistent with our values, we will have no part in their implementation,” said California Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon.
De Leon rejected the executive order’s stated premises, that the focus is keeping dangerous criminals out.
"He has loosened up the criteria to separate children from their mothers," de Leon said.
One order calls for the much-discussed border wall to be built, which California Legislature Latino Caucus leader Ben Hueso called medieval and unnecessary.
“There is no net increase in people coming into our country. What we need is to focus on immigration reform,” said Hueso.
Trump’s plan also targets sanctuary jurisdictions, places that don’t enforce federal immigration law.
“We will not send a single cent or lift a finger to help his efforts,” said de Leon.
The executive order gives the Homeland Security secretary discretion over whether a city, county, or state is a sanctuary jurisdiction.
San Francisco, on the other hand, self identifies as a sanctuary city. If Democrats in the California Legislature make good on their promise not to use state or local resources to enforce federal immigration law and/or pass a series of proposed pro-undocumented immigrant laws, California will likely be classified as a sanctuary state.
“The new president must respect the 10th Amendment, he cannot force cities and states to participate in his plan to deport undocumented immigrants,” said Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, chair of the Senate judiciary committee.
The executive order calls for the attorney general and Homeland Security secretary to withhold federal funding from sanctuary jurisdictions, putting billions of money marked for California at risk.
De Leon says California will look to Congress and then, if necessary, to the courts to protect its undocumented immigrants and it’s funding.
While Democrats hold super-majorities in the Legislature, they don’t speak for all lawmakers, said Assembly member James Gallagher who represents Yuba and Sutter counties.
“Fighting a common sense policy like going after criminals doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense to me,” said Gallagher.
Senator John Moorlach of Orange County says he’s disappointed in his Democratic colleagues.
“Last time I checked defiance was not a leadership trait,” said Moorlach.
While Moorlach supports a path to citizenship for certain undocumented immigrants and doesn’t think Trump’s immigration policy gets everything right, he believes California Democrats are squandering an opportunity to negotiate.
“I think we need to find a better way to work with Washington, D.C., on what is a legitimate concern,” said Moorlach.