California flouts federal law on immigration


Giancarlo Lizarraga, Staff Writer

Secession is in the air, protesters are flowing down city streets, and state representatives are lashing back at President Trump’s recent actions.

While California has seen decreased effects from its ongoing drought, the political heat is rising in this state of more than 10 million immigrants and about 2.67 million undocumented immigrants according to the Public Policy Institute of California.

“Immigrants are an integral part of who we are and what we’ve become,” Gov. Jerry Brown said in his state of the state address.

These sentiments seem to not be shared by President Trump as shown by his executive orders of a physical barrier along America’s southern border and the prevention of foreign nationals from entering the U.S. even with proper documentation.

“Make no mistake — this is a Muslim ban,” senator Kamala Harris said in response to Trump’s executive order that put a ban on entry from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

California Assembly Bill 4, known as the TRUST Act, prohibits law enforcement from detaining an individual who is eligible for release from custody. This bill works contradictory to the many detainments of arriving immigrants due to the aforementioned executive order.

Another attack on Californian interests is the executive order issued on January 25 that withholds federal funds to sanctuary cities, those municipalities that don’t prosecute illegal immigrants for violating federal immigration laws.

Six days later the city of San Francisco, a sanctuary city, sued the Trump administration on the grounds that it is unconstitutional for the federal government to threaten local government with the loss of money for failing to administer a program.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson continues to urge the 1,025 California school districts to become “safe havens” by withholding information on students’ citizenship status unless allowed by a child’s parental guardian.

“Personally, I believe all students should have an opportunity to learn under any and all circumstances,” LUSD Board member Gary Knackstedt said. Knackstedt represents Area two of the Lodi Unified School District which includes Bear Creek High School.

Stockton, Lincoln, and Tracy school districts have already adopted Torlakson’s policies, but Knackstedt says that the legal policies for Lodi Unified concerning the subject are still being discussed.

Undocumented students in California also get the opportunity to pay in-state tuition at public colleges and universities through the Immigrant Higher Education Act. The California DREAM Act allows those students to receive out-of-state financial aid almost identical to the FAFSA that documented students are eligible to receive.