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The Madera Tribune

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Why pass unenforceable laws?

December 14, 2016

Certain California legislators are trying to pretend they have authority over the Congress of the United States, and it probably won’t work. Their egos are the size of aircraft carriers, but they have no airplanes. All they have going for them is a lot of backwash.


California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, has said he will file a bill that would prohibit state or local law enforcement, including school police and security departments, from using their resources for immigration enforcement.


According to the Sacramento Bee, Senate Bill 54 also would create “safe zones” at public schools, hospitals and courthouses where immigration-law enforcement by school cops and presumably hospital security guards would be banned.


One wonders why Sen. de Leon would submit such a bill, since when he took his oath of office he vowed, among other things, to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.


The Constitution, unless it has been changed within the last couple of weeks, makes the federal government the ultimate enforcer of federal law. And that includes immigration law.


The feds, as an example, operate the border stations, inspection stations, and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the United States Department of Homeland Security.


That means that regardless of how many regulations are passed by the State of California against enforcing federal immigration law by virtually any California agencies, the federal law enforcement agencies can always (excuse the expression) trump state authority and enforce the federal laws that are on the books. They can even enforce state and local laws if it comes right down to it.


Or did somebody fire the FBI when we weren’t looking?


Now, one wonders why Sen. de Leon would file such a bill — a bill that flies in the face of federal law — if he knows it probably can’t be effective against determined federal enforcement.


Maybe he knows something we don’t. Maybe he has been assured that the federal government will stop enforcing immigration law in California when these laws are passed because enforcing federal law is too much trouble here, especially in the face of hordes of crossing guards waving stop signs. who apparently will be expected to stand at the school doors should agents from ICE suddenly appear, wanting to do their jobs.


Does that seem nonsensical to you? Well, you decide. But perhaps there’s another reason for the distinguished president of the California Senate to want to put such a law on the books, and it might be this:


Sen. de Leon may want to be seen as being the illegal immigrant’s friend, even though he is a political hot shot who couldn’t care less whether you’re picking artichokes or you’re the gal who scrubs the Senate toilets. He just wants you to sign up to be a Democrat so he and his legislative pals can keep their hands in the state cookie jar, where they have had them for so many years.


That circumstance has largely been enabled by Republicans of a generation or so ago, who tried to get illegal aliens to leave the country by denying them benefits, and treating them like third-class individuals. After that debacle, nobody who had any cards in the immigrant game had to be brainwashed into being a Democrat. They stood in line to sign up. And why wouldn’t they?


But those days of using race to recruit voters may be passing. Opportunists like de Leon need to look ahead. Ah, let’s try safe-haven laws.


These safe haven laws sound good in speeches and look good on paper because they ooze sympathy for people in the country illegally — the least among us —  but if the feds decide to crack down, they won’t be worth the paper they’re written on.


That will be especially true if Donald Trump keeps any of his campaign promises to enforce the laws against illegal immigration.

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