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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (ChurchMilitant.com) - President Donald Trump is threatening to cut off federal funding to the state of California.
In an interview with Bill O'Reilly on February 5, Trump commented:
As you know, I'm very much opposed to sanctuary cities. They breed crime, there's a lot of problems. If we have to, we'll defund. We give tremendous amounts of money to California. California, in many ways, is out of control as you know. I don't want to defund a state or a city. I don't want to defund anybody. I want to give them the money they need to properly operate as a city or a state. If they're going to have sanctuary cities, we may have to do that. Certainly that would be a weapon.
These comments by President Trump come after legislation that would make California a sanctuary state was approved by the California Senate Public Safety Committee on January 31. The legislation is now moving to the entire California senate for a vote soon, where the Democrats have a super-majority.
California Senate President Kevin de León introduced Senate Bill 54, known as the California Values Act (CVA) in December 2016. The law would protect illegal aliens from deportation.
The legislation states, "In no event shall state or local law enforcement agencies or school police or security departments transfer an individual to federal immigration authorities for purposes of immigration enforcement or detain an individual at the request of federal immigration authorities for purposes of immigration enforcement absent a judicial warrant."
De León has criticized Trump's recent executive actions cracking down on illegal immigration, saying, "These are spiteful and mean-spirited directives that only instill fear in the hearts of millions of people who pay taxes, contribute to our economy and our way of life. Tearing apart honest, hardworking families is not the answer."
Governor Jerry Brown remarked in his State of the State speech on January 24, "We will defend everybody — every man, woman and child — who has come here for a better life and has contributed to the well-being of our state."
The comments of De León, Brown, as well as the advancement of the CVA come in response to President Trump's recent executive orders on sanctuary cities:
(Cities) that fail to comply with applicable Federal law do not receive Federal funds, except as mandated by law. The Attorney General and the [Homeland Security] Secretary, in their discretion and to the extent consistent with law, shall ensure that jurisdictions that willfully refuse to comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373 (sanctuary jurisdictions) are not eligible to receive Federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes by the Attorney General or the Secretary.
Sean Spicer, White House press secretary, said, "Federal agencies are going to unapologetically enforce the law, no ifs, ands or buts. We're going to strip federal grant money from the sanctuary states and cities that harbor illegal immigrants."
In recent testimony in support of the CVA, De León admitted that relatives of his are in the country illegally. He remarked:
Half of my family would be eligible for deportation under the executive order, because they got a false social security card, they got a false identification, they got a false driver's license prior to us passing AB 60, they got a false green card, and anyone who has family members who are undocumented knows that almost entirely everybody has secured some sort of false identification. That's what you need to survive, to work. They are eligible for massive deportation.
During his presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly pledged to cut off federal funds to sanctuary cities, which harbor illegal immigrants from prosecution, and he is making good on his promise. Trump has ordered his Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, along with his incoming Attorney General Jeff Sessions, to strip sanctuary cities of their funding and to crack down on illegal immigration.