California's Assault on Immigration Enforcement Continues Despite Overwhelming Opposition by State Voters
Obama Administration is Obligated to Sue California, Says FAIR
WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Gov. Jerry Brown's decision to sign AB 4, the TRUST Act, represents the latest, and most egregious maneuver on the part of that state to undermine federal immigration law, charged the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). According to a statewide poll of 800 likely California voters conducted over the weekend by Zogby Analytics, only 24.6 percent thought the governor should have signed the bill, compared with 44.4 percent who wanted him to veto it.
AB 4 takes the unprecedented step of banning California law enforcement from honoring most requests from federal immigration authorities to hold criminal aliens. The Zogby poll found that 55.7 percent of California voters believe that public safety will be endangered by the bill, while only 23.7 percent said it would enhance public safety.
"Under AB 4, California will return dangerous criminal aliens to communities all across the state, rather than cooperate with the federal government's efforts to remove them from the country. This act demonstrates not just contempt for U.S. immigration laws, but a reckless disregard for public safety and for the people who have been victimized by criminal aliens," charged Dan Stein, president of FAIR. "It is appalling that Governor Brown could veto essentially the same bill last year, then turn around and sign AB 4 into law."
California's criminal recidivism rate of 58 percent is the second highest in the nation. "The odds are that better than one out of two criminal aliens who will be released from custody under AB 4, rather than remanded to federal immigration authorities, will go on to commit another crime. The conscious decision of the California Legislature and Gov. Brown to block the deportation of criminals will make them morally culpable for the pain, suffering, and loss of the next people who are victimized," declared Stein.
Gov. Brown signed AB 4 just two days after he approved a bill granting driver's licenses to illegal aliens. The same Zogby poll found stiff public opposition to that legislation as well. A majority of likely voters, 54.6 percent, oppose granting driver's licenses to illegal aliens, while only 36.1 percent support the idea.
With the enactment of these and other bills signed by the governor over the weekend, California is now in open defiance of the federal government's exclusive authority over immigration policy. It also obstructs the Obama administration's stated policy of removing criminal aliens from the United States.
"The enactment of AB 4 demands that the U.S. Department of Justice take action against California's rogue policies," said Stein. "The basis of the Obama administration's law suits against Arizona and other states that enacted laws designed to facilitate federal immigration enforcement was that these state laws interfered with the administration's enforcement priorities – namely the apprehension and removal of criminal aliens.
"AB 4 is a much more serious impediment to the Obama administration's ability to execute its policy objective than anything Arizona, or other states sued by the federal government, enacted. Based on this administration's own precedent, they are obligated to take the same legal steps to ensure that their policy of deporting criminal aliens is not undermined by the State of California," Stein concluded.
The questions and complete results of the Zogby Analytics poll, commissioned by FAIR, are available at www.fairus.org.
Founded in 1979, FAIR is the country's largest immigration reform group. With over 250,000 members nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests. FAIR believes that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.