- Associated Press - Monday, December 5, 2016

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Democratic state lawmakers passed a resolution Monday urging President-elect Donald Trump not to pursue mass deportations and to uphold a program for young immigrants in the country illegally over protests from Republican lawmakers.

The measure passed in both chambers urges Trump to continue the Obama administration program that has helped more than 740,000 young people brought to the country as children obtain work permits.

It comes as Democrats - who hold supermajorities in both chambers - plan a series of bills to protect immigrants from Trump’s campaign promises of increased deportations. Proposals being discussed include providing lawyers to immigrants in deportation proceedings and helping public defenders assess the immigration consequences of criminal convictions.

It was the first day of the new legislative session, which is typically reserved for congratulatory handshakes and bipartisan photo-ops. But debate over the resolution was heated.

Sen. John Moorlach, a Republican from Costa Mesa, said he thought it was the wrong approach for California to take such an antagonistic tone with a president who is not even inaugurated yet.

“I’m not comfortable with saying we will fight, although I understand it. I think we ought to try to work with this administration,” he said. “We should be collaborative. I don’t think defiance is the right approach.”

Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, a Democrat from Los Angeles and the resolution’s author, said he doubted that if the measure were postponed to tone down the language or wait until after the inauguration Republicans would support it. He called the legislation necessary and urgent as children are afraid their parents will be deported.

“This is real. It’s not partisanship,” de Leon said. “We will defend the values of our state. … This is an issue we must face head-on.”

Immigrant advocates say state bills are also being considered to further limit federal immigration enforcement in California - which is home to more than 10 million foreign-born residents - and protect immigrants’ information in state databases.

Nearly 2.4 million immigrants in the state lack legal status, according to estimates by the Washington-based Pew Research Center.

Both houses of the California Legislature have Democratic supermajorities, controlling two-thirds of the seats in the Assembly and Senate.

In recent years, California has passed a series of measures to assist and protect immigrants in the country illegally, for example, limiting the cases when local law enforcement can turn over immigrant arrestees to federal authorities for deportation. California offers state-subsidized health care to children from low-income families who are in the country illegally and issues driver’s licenses regardless of legal status.

• Associated Press writers Juliet Williams in Sacramento and Amy Taxin in Santa Ana, California, contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide