Sanctuary California In Decline

By Rick Oltman
Published in The Social Contract
Volume 29, Number 1 (Fall 2018)
Issue theme: "Sanctuary Nation - The Fraying of America"

The sanctuary state of California is on the slick slope of decline, and while it will take several years for it to hit bottom, wherever that is, the decline is observable, predictable, and will produce casualties all the way down. And, it has a long way to fall, having achieved remarkable heights over the past seventy-three years.

Modern California is a baby boomer. It began its development post-World War II as returning servicemen from the Pacific War passed through on their way home, getting a look at California, if only briefly, and many returned. As the great post-war rebuilding began, so did the migration westward.

California’s population in 1940 was 6,907,000 less than that of New York (13, 479,000), Pennsylvania (9,900,000), and Illinois (7,897,000), and tied with Ohio. Even though the American frontier was declared “closed” in 1890, everything west of the Mississippi was enigmatic to the rest of the country.

In 1945 the National Football League had eight teams, not one west of Green Bay, Wisconsin. TheirWestern Division consisted of teams in the cities of Cleveland, Detroit, Green Bay, and Chicago (2 teams, the Bears and Cardinals).

Major League Baseball had sixteen teams, in ’45 the most westward being the St. Louis Browns (AL) and the St. Louis Cardinals (NL), located just across the Mississippi River. Nothing else for the 1,700 miles west to the Pacific Ocean.

As the country grew, so grew California in spectacular fashion, as seen in the population growth. By 1950 10.5 million, 1960 15.7 million, 1970 20 million.  The 2010 Census reported 37 million, with 40 million being projected for the 2020 count.

Agriculture, manufacturing, entertainment, and technology have turned California into the fifth largest economy in the world, recently surpassing the United Kingdom, which has 25 million more people (making one wonder what has happened there).The Golden State, indeed.

However, today, all of what has been built and achieved by workers and entrepreneurs is at risk, and the Sanctuary State mentality will likely provide the tipping point, sending California into a decline that will be unrecoverable.

Politically, California is now a single party state, meaning that one political party controls all legislation, regulation, and law enforcement: the California Democratic Party. California became a single party state when the election laws were changed in 2010. California voters, with the help of useful idiots, approved a ballot initiative establishing a new “open primary system” where all candidates from all parties would be listed on the same ballot. The top two vote-getters, regardless of party, would advance to the November election.

This procedure was designed to have two Democrats on the ticket for all the state-wide races, Governor, Lt Governor, Secretary of State, U.S. Senate seats and others. It is not infallible, as this year’s governor race indicates, but, when only one party is on the ballot, it limits debate over issues, with aid from the media, so the electorate doesn’t hear the differing opinions and solutions of a political argument, just one side.

All of which brings us to the Sanctuary City/State issue; the harboring and safeguarding of illegal aliens and the subsequent encouragement of illegal immigration into California and our country.

California’s official ambivalence towards enforcing immigration laws can be traced to 1994, whenProposition 187 won 50 of 58 countieswith 59 percent of the vote against overwhelming forces. Prop. 187 won, but only to be left languishing in a lower federal court, by the Republican administration, never to be enforced, eventually to be illegally euthanized by DemocraticGovernor Gray Davis in 1999, who was recalled in 2003.

However, the state-wide push for “sanctuary” greatly accelerated because of Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign, which continuously stressed the American citizen victims of illegal aliens, border security, and immigration law enforcement. Like petulant children, California’s elected officials, from Sacramento to county supervisors to city councils, threw temper tantrums against the idea of enforcing our laws.

On November 26, 2016, not even three weeks after Trump won the election, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti warned President-elect Trump that defunding Sanctuary Cities wouldcause “social, economic, and security problems”; Los Angeles, for example, was scheduled to receive $500 million from federal taxpayers that year.

The list of California cities and counties that are declared “sanctuaries” doesn’t include all the jurisdictions who are sanctuary minded, but just don’t advertise that they will not comply with ICE holds on criminals in their jails:

Alameda County Berkeley

Contra Costa County Los Angeles County

Los Angeles Monterey County

Napa County Oakland

Riverside County Sacramento County

San Bernardino County San Diego County

San Francisco San Francisco County

San Mateo County Santa Ana

Santa Clara County Santa Cruz County

Sonoma County Watsonville

Sanctuary cities/counties/states by their very design appeal to illegal aliens, especially criminal aliens who know they can avoid immigration enforcement, as Kate Steinle’s killer confirmed to San Francisco police in 2015.

Sanctuary jurisdictions clearly attract illegal aliens,and, the results are obvious:

• Sanctuaries have more crime, including violent illegal alien gangs.

• Sanctuaries have worse schools and lower student test scores.

• Sanctuaries’ hospital ERs are flooded with more non-paying illegal aliens.

• Sanctuaries are hideouts for terrorists, who know they can rely on local elected officials to look the other way while they plan their murderous acts.

In January 2017, two days after President Trump was sworn into office, a poll by UC Berkeley, of all places, found that 74 percent of California residents want to see an end to sanctuary city policies. Sixty-five percent of Hispanics agreed, along with 70 percent of independents, 82 percent of Republicans, and 73 percent of Democrats. That’s higher than the number who approved Proposition 187 twenty-two years prior.

Regardless, on October 5, 2017, California officially became a “sanctuary state” when Governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown signed Senate Bill 54, titled, in Orwellian Newspeak, the “California Values Act,” which went into effect in January of 2018.

Local law enforcement in California is now prohibited from asking about immigration status during routine interactions, and is further prohibited from complying ICE detainers.

And, to further the insanity, Brown also signed legislation to fund legal services for illegal aliens who were “seeking naturalization and deportation defense,” and to provide health coverage for illegal aliens as well as the “California Dream Act,” a law to provide California driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, and a bill giving $30 million in financial aid and legal services to “immigrant students” and those who fall under the illegal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

This is what a Sanctuary California has become: Taxpayers funding any and every program that Sacramento can conceive of to benefit illegal aliens. California’s sales taxes are among the highest in the country, as well as among the highest gasoline prices because of some of the highest gas taxes.

And, what does California have to show for it? Thehighest poverty rate in the country. An education system that fails to keep up with the rest of the country on national tests. And a state that eschews the rule of law, safety for its citizens, and defending our culture and our country.

Gavin Newsom, Democrat candidate for Governor, began the year by repeating his pro-amnesty rhetoric and vowed to keep California a “sanctuary state” for illegal aliens while defying the law and resisting President Trump.

He tweeted out, “Let me be clear: California is a sanctuary state. We believe in the power of diversity. We have defied and resisted the xenophobic, hateful policies of your administration at every turn. We will do it again.”

On Newsom’s gubernatorial campaign web page you have to hunt for the immigration issue. When you click “Issues”, immigration isn’t listed, but those familiar with the left’s rhetoric know to immediately go to “California’s Values” where, at the top of the list, one learns that Newsom,

“…has defended California’s status as a Sanctuary State, called for the state’s public colleges and universities to be sanctuary campuses, and added his voice calling on Congress to pass a clean DREAM Act. Communities across California are coming together to alert immigrants of ICE activity and ensure that their neighbors’ civil rights are protected. As Governor, Gavin will support these efforts and ensure the government is doing its part with funding for immigrant legal defense.”

Of course, it is useless to point out to Newsom that “immigrants” in general have nothing to fear from ICE, but he does make it clear that the taxpayer will provide funding for immigrants’ (illegal aliens’) legal defense.

As reported earlier this year,California’s middle class is in decline.

The key group demographic, those who pay the most taxes, people in their 30s, 40s, and 50s, making between $100,000 to $200,000 a year, are leaving. In the past ten to twelve years, California lost 1 million more residents than have come into the state, many moving to neighboring states. It is reasonable to think that number will increase as the effects of the lack of law enforcement and sanctuary become a huge electromagnet attracting all kinds of illegal aliens, including drug dealers and hardened criminals, as Sanctuary California allows criminal illegal aliens to avoid arrest, prosecution, and removal.

Also, as Sanctuary California persists in ignoring federal immigration laws, they risk losing billions of federal tax dollars, which presents a big problem to local government bureaucrats. Bureaucracies are incapable of cutting budgets, and the money will have to be found elsewhere. Expect tax hikes from California and local governments who will look to their taxpayers to make up for the lost federal money. Also, expect the exodus out to continue.


I predict there will be increases in the state income tax, state and local sales tax, gasoline tax, property tax, estate taxes, et al. I predict that state bonds will be sold to keep the bureaucracy funded, heaping even more debt on future generations of taxpayers.

And with the tax hikes will come another reality as the result of supporting illegal aliens and thumbing one’s nose at federal law enforcement, as most workers, voters, and taxpayers learn they are paying higher taxes to support illegal aliens.

Disease will increase in Sanctuary California as people enter illegally and are not screened for infectious diseases, many of them now MDR, or multiple-drug-resistant diseases.Tuberculosis, which had been declining in California over the past decades, has seen a slowing of the decline, and one can expect an increase of TB, including the most recent version, XDR, meaning Extra Drug Resistant TB, which if you get it, you are a goner. Approximately 2.5 million people in California currently have TB. From theCalifornia Tuberculosis Elimination Taskforce,

Ten million persons, or 26 percent of California’s population of 39 million, were born outside the U.S., many from a region with a high TB burden. Additionally, over 11 million persons enter California from outside the U.S. each year.

And yet,Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said in February that she was willing to go to jail to defend Oakland’s sanctuary policies. Using Twitter, Schaaf warned the public about an impending ICE operation and stood by her decision even though several hardened criminals were caught. ICE responded that her warning had potentially helped hundreds of other criminals escape.

“It is Oakland’s legal right to be a sanctuary city and we have not broken any laws,” Schaaf said in a statement.Oakland City CouncilwomanRebecca Kaplan is similarly disconnected from reality. “It is not acceptable for the Oakland administration to collude with ICE, as this federal agency is targeting non-criminals, harassing people based on their national origin, and undermining our justice system.”

Expect these sentiments to be repeated.

There are predictable results to governments consciously ignoring the law.

The State of California will make it a priority to protect illegal aliens from immigration law enforcement, and will also protect a trash fish called the Delta Smelt, to the detriment of 200,000 acres of farmland and thousands of jobs.

Even more ridiculous, the sanctuary city of San Francisco will protect illegal aliens from the feds but cannot seem to convince people to defecate in an appropriate venue. Nor will they deal with thethousands of city-supplied free syringes left in the piles of dung on city streets. They will, however, act against the use of plastic straws.

Perfect. The one-party state in action.

The predictable, inevitable decline of the once great Golden State is made even more sad because it is entirely unnecessary. The values, and the laws emanating from those values, have made Western Civilization the greatest in the history of man because they do work. Ignoring common sense and the absolutely predictable outcome of announcing to the world that you are not going to enforce the law will have devastating consequences. Not immediately, but gradually and continuously with casualties all the way down.

No border, no nation. No law, no civilization. It’s just that simple.

About the author

Rick Oltman, a frequent contributor and West Coast Editor of The Social Contract, has worked for immigration reform for over twenty-seven years.  He has worked with activists nationwide and lobbied in Washington, D.C. and in dozens of state capitals for secure borders, document security, and immigration enforcement.  He has been a featured guest on the PBS NewsHour, MSNBC Reports, CNN, including Talk Back Live, Lou Dobbs, and Anderson Cooper 360, the FOX Business Channel, FOX News Channel, and scores of radio talk shows.  In 1994 Rick was chairman of the YES ON 187-SAVE OUR STATE campaign supporting California’s Proposition 187, which won with 59 percent of the vote.  In 2004 Rick led Arizona activists in qualifying Proposition 200, Arizona’s state initiative that required proof of citizenship when voting or applying for public benefits.  Prop 200 won with 57 percent of the vote.  Rick’s commentaries on current immigration issues can be read at:

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