California responds to President Trump's orders on undocumented immigration

Jan 25, 2017


Donald Trump signed two executive orders that had to do with undocumented immigration today.

First, he followed through with one of his biggest platform points, saying the US is going to build a border wall and increase border security. That wall would be 1,933 miles, according to the US Geological Survey. And in California — we measured — that's 140.4 miles.

 

California is residence to 2.4 million undocumented immigrants, according to the Pew Research Center, and they comprise just over six percent of the state's population. Undocumented immigrants make up about one in 10 California workers, and they largely work in industries like farming, construction, and transportation. They're a vital part of the state's current economy.

That’s part of the reason why many Bay Area cities provide sanctuary for them and don’t cooperate with federal authorities looking to deport undocumented immigrants. But they could lose their funding, based on another of the President’s executive orders defunding "sanctuary cities".

That could affect Bay Area cities including San Francisco, Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley, Richmond and San Jose, according to a list compiled by the San Jose Mercury News. They found San Jose received $78 million from the federal government this fiscal year. Oakland got more than that: $130 million. And San Francisco could lose up to a billion dollars — nearly 10% of the city’s budget.

The money is used for lots of programs, including school lunches for low-income kids, seismic retrofitting, and cops in the streets. The state itself, receives a lot of federal dollars, too. In 2013, California received almost 55 billion dollars in federal aid, making up about a quarter of its total general revenue.

Yet elected officials have been talking about making California a “sanctuary state”. Today, California’s legislative leaders spoke out directly against the Federal government.

Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon said, "We will have no part in their implementation. If the new President wants to wage a campaign of fear against innocent families, he can count us out. We will not spend a single cent, nor lift a finger, to aid his efforts."

 

De Leon noted bills currently being considered by California lawmakers to prevent state and local tax dollars and personnel resources from helping Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.