By Katy Grimes
Calling for enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws recently struck a nerve with certain California politicians.
In response to my column “Mayors of Sanctuary Cities Who Flaunt Federal Law Should Be Arrested,” the former press secretary for recently termed-out California Senate President Darrell Steinberg sent an email to the publisher of the Flash Report website expressing his disdain for my call to uphold federal immigration law and arrest those mayors who flaunt their sanctuary cities in the face of the law:
From: Rhys Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: November 29, 2016 at 6:06:06 PM PST
Subject: Grimes blog
Jon – surely you can see how f–ked up this is? Dog whistle politics, and dangerous.
“By taking this illegal stance on Sanctuary Cities, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and Sacramento Mayor-elect Darrell Steinberg, who clearly see themselves above the law, are favoring criminal illegal aliens over the safety of law-abiding citizens, and should pay the ultimate price for not upholding the laws of the nation.”
“Dog whistle politics” is a type of political speech using code words that appear to mean one thing to the general population but have a different meaning for a targeted part of the audience. There was no hidden meaning in calling for upholding immigration law, or arresting those who do not.
When the current press secretary for the California lieutenant governor and former press secretary to the Senate president sends a menacing email to a publisher unhappy about a column calling for law and order, it’s evident these Democrats didn’t get the message with the 2016 election: The people are tired of arrogant, elitist politicians who think they can bully the media who disagree with them.
Rhys Williams, who used his official state email account to send the complaint, is now working in communications for California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. Newsom, who is running for governor in 2018, is also the former mayor of San Francisco, which vowed in 2007 to remain a sanctuary for illegal aliens and do everything possible to prevent federal authorities from conducting immigration raids. “I will not allow any of my department heads or anyone associated with this city to cooperate in any way shape or form with these raids,” Newsom famously said in 2007. “We are a sanctuary city, make no mistake about it.”
I doubt Kate Steinle would agree with Rhys Williams. Steinle was murdered in San Francisco by a protected criminal illegal alien who had been deported and returned to the U.S. more than five times, and was released by the San Francisco sheriff’s department each time under the city’s sanctuary city directive.
Darrell Steinberg is now mayor-elect of Sacramento and has vowed to fight any and all federal attempts to deport illegal immigrants under incoming President Donald Trump.
Prickly California Democrats
Despite the new post-election Democratic supermajority in the California Legislature, the state Democratic Party will likely be under intense scrutiny by Republicans in Washington, D.C.
Immediately following Donald Trump’s win, California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León and California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, both Democrats, said in a joint statement, “Today, we woke up feeling like strangers in a foreign land, because yesterday Americans expressed their views on a pluralistic and democratic society that are clearly inconsistent with the values of the people of California.”
“We will be reaching out to federal, state and local officials to evaluate how a Trump Presidency will potentially impact federal funding of ongoing state programs, job-creating investments reliant on foreign trade, and federal enforcement of laws affecting the rights of people living in our state.”
California’s Democrats are already very much at odds with what a Trump administration and Republican Congress are aiming to accomplish the next four years, particularly on health care, the environment and immigration.
California health care
Following passage of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, California formed a new state agency and its own health insurance exchange called Covered California. The incompetence, corruption and mismanagement inside Covered CA, which costs $1.2 billion more than the state budgeted for, has caused the exchange to run out of money. Now with President-Elect Trump’s promise of the repeal of Obamacare, Covered CA will have no federal grant assistance, and will likely go bankrupt.
California is home to the largest illegal-alien population in the country, with 35 sanctuary cities. President-elect Trump has vowed to build a border wall and deport 3 to 11 million illegal and criminal aliens.
California’s sanctuary city movement hinders immigration enforcement and shields illegal aliens from federal officials as a matter of policy.
Beyond the legalities, illegal immigrants are a severe economic drain on California’s already strained budget.
A 2014 study released by the Federation for American Immigration Reform found that providing education, health care, law enforcement, and social and government services to illegal aliens and their dependents costs Californians $25.3 billion per year.
Trump has promised to “immediately terminate” the 4-year-old Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program created by President Obama through another of his executive orders, which amounts to a fast track to permanent amnesty.
The DACA program currently protects nearly 800,000 young people, half of them Californians.
California’s climate change and environmental policies
President-elect Trump has singled out the Environmental Protection Agency for significant budget cuts, promising to dismantle the gargantuan agency.
With enough political support, the Trump administration could impose federal rules to override California’s climate change policies, and overrule most of California’s excessive business-killing climate change agenda and illegal treaties with foreign countries. Gov. Jerry Brown has illegally signed independent agreements with others states and nations to form carbon trading markets and force arbitrary emissions limits. This could all come crashing down.
It’s not dog whistle politics.
Katy Grimes is an investigative journalist, senior correspondent with the Flash Report and senior media fellow with Energy and Environmental Institute. A longtime political analyst, she has written for The Sacramento Union, The Washington Examiner, Watchdog.org, the Pacific Research Institute’s CalWatchdog, The San Francisco Examiner, The Business Journal, E&E Legal, The Sacramento Bee, Canada Free Press and LifeZette, and can be heard regularly on many talk radio shows each week.