It’s happening again! California is coming up with another solution. You’re probably asking, isn’t that good? Solutions are always good, right? Not always.
California is trying very hard to keep everyone who comes into their state illegally from being deported. You heard me correctly, no deportation.
The ‘solution’ is an initiative that recently got the green light for its backers to gather sufficient signatures in order to have it placed on the November 2016 ballot. If successful, it would amend the California Constitution to prohibit the use of state, county, or city funds or resources to detain and deport any California resident.
The measure is being called the “Protect Our Family” initiative and essentially results in keeping illegal immigrants in the country and more specifically in the state, without the threat of deportation by California. It doesn’t prohibit the federal government from deporting illegal immigrants but California is not going to spend a dime toward the effort.
In other words, the proposed constitutional amendment would have the effect of acting as the state’s quasi-amnesty program without waiting for Obama to pass his own amnesty program, which many feel he will do by way of executive order following the 2014 midterm elections.
The initiative, was written by Barton C. Gilbert, a soon-to-be retired Californian who has a degree in political science from a California University.
Although, Gilbert is ‘leading the campaign,’ Sovereign California is providing material and financial support to help gather signatures. The organization will also provide and circulate copies of the initiative.
Who is Sovereign California and why are they involved?
The organization indicates that one of its core missions is to support Californians who believe in California’s right as a nation-state to determine its own destiny. They also explain that they do not recognize the authority of the federal government to send their agents into California for the purpose of deporting California residents from their homes and away from their families.
The organization claims that it is providing financial support for the initiative because the initiative seeks to protect Californians from federal agents and it protects tax dollars from being awarded as damages in civil rights lawsuits.
A federal judge recently found that a county in Oregon, not California, was liable for damages when it complied with a federal detainer request for deportation purposes. Sovereign California cites this case as justification for their involvement.
The intentions for both the organization and Gilbert, appear to be first and foremost, aimed at stopping deportation altogether. If no local, county, or state funds can be used, then California is declaring that it will not deport illegal immigrants.
Secondly, the name of the initiative, “Protect Our Family,” sounds like the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals law, which allows children brought here by their illegal immigrant parents, to stay in the United States.
Also, the initiative refers to illegal immigrants as California residents. Since when are people here illegally residents of any state?
Additionally, the initiative was developed partially so that Californians would not be held liable for damages caused by federal agents’ acting to deport California’s illegal immigrants.
While it is understandable that California would not want to be liable for damages caused by the federal agents, California has not been named in any lawsuits and while difficult, California could sue the federal government to recoup any damages that they might incur as a result of the federal government’s actions.
Finally, if the initiative was so important to Californians and the organization’s mission, then why didn’t the organization come up with it?
There are many questions and fewer answers.
Regardless, the organization has jumped in with both feet to support Gilbert’s initiative and wants to make sure that the initiative has enough signatures to place it on the ballot in 2016.
Gilbert, not satisfied with just one change in 2016 for California, wants to make another change in the Golden State.
He is pushing to qualify the initiative by gathering signatures on smartphones even though a California District Court in 2011, ruled that e-signatures do not qualify.
“We fully support the idea of allowing Californians to more easily participate in our democratic process by signing ballot initiatives with digital devices such as a smartphone…We believe that this not only encourages Californians to participate but also makes it more possible for ballot initiatives to qualify in the first place,” said Louis J. Marinelli, Sovereign California’s CEO & President. “We see nothing wrong with more qualified ballot initiatives put before the people of California for a yes or no vote on election day.”
The organization is taking no chances and will also make sure that hard copy petitions are signed. In fact, they have petitions available to download right on their website.
“We’d hate to see an important initiative such as this fail to qualify merely because its signatures were all e-signatures thrown out by a court,” explained the organization.
If state or local funds can’t be used to deport illegal immigrants, then they will be allowed to stay in California if the federal government doesn’t deport them. Period!
Once this occurs, California will be strapped with an even greater financial burden when it is required to provide healthcare, education, housing, and other benefits to the illegal immigrants, referred to as ‘California residents’ by the initiative.
It would be more cost effective for California to help the federal agents in the deportation process and risk an occasional lawsuit.
Only time will tell if California voters will be fooled by this veiled amnesty initiative that has the potential of costing California millions.
Other states may follow suit and draft similar initiatives of their own. Don’t be surprised!
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