California vs. Federal Government
The state of California continues to fight federal leadership on immigration, now with Attorney General Xavier Becerra planning to sue the administration if it adds a question about citizenship on the 2020 Census. The administration is arguing that reinstating such a question would help with enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, but experts and advocates see through the veiled attempt to deprive progressive communities and states (that tend to have higher immigrant populations) of funding for programs and services and cost us representation in our state legislature and Congress.
California vs. California
We are also seeing a growing backlash against the backlash: local and regional leaders are fighting against California’s sanctuary state policies. Law enforcement have sided with the administration and are forming alliances with Jeff Sessions to more closely police immigrant communities, including in otherwise progressive cities and counties. Los Alamitos (Orange County) City Councilmembers voted to exempt themselves from SB54, the sanctuary state bill, and other communities are following suit. Orange County Board of Supervisors have gone so far as to vote to join Jeff Sessions’ lawsuit against California on SB54.
Orange County is both the birthplace of Proposition 187 — the successful ballot initiative that fought undocumented immigrants’ access to publicly-funded services and was eventually struck down by the courts — and a county whose electorate have become more diverse (especially Latinx and Asian) and progressive.
“Although the county’s demographics have been shifting, the composition of local elected boards is usually a lagging indicator of change and often takes a generation or more to become more representative of a growing immigrant population…. The Board of Supervisors, for example, has five Republicans, none of whom is Latino.” – LA Times article, How O.C. became a center of resistance to California’s ‘sanctuary state’ legislation
The OC Supervisors’ vote underlines how important our sustained investments in the region (CDT donors have been active investors in Orange County for 10 years) are to making progress permanent, especially through governance that better reflects the community.
Escondido (San Diego County) City Council and San Diego County Board of Supervisors will soon vote to join the administration’s lawsuit against California, as well. Some suspect the votes in Orange County and San Diego County are a deliberate attempt to rile up conservative voters right before the primary. Orange County has four Republican-held, potential flip congressional seats — CD39, 45, 48 and 49 — and San Diego has CD50 with Republican Duncan Hunter.