In case you are wondering exactly how aggressive Governor Jerry Brown and his Democratic colleagues in the California Legislature have been in trying to erase the distinction between people residing in California legally versus those here in violation of U.S. immigration law, here are seven startling but very real ways that they have done so.
1. SANCTUARY STATE AND CITIES
The state of California and literally dozens of cities around the state, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, and San Diego, have adopted policies providing "sanctuary" for illegal aliens who come into contact with law enforcement. These policies prohibit even inquiring about a person's immigration status, and do not allow for state or municipal funds to be used to enforce federal immigration laws.
Governor Brown and state legislators have gone a step further by actually passing a state law-the "Trust Act" - that impedes the ability of local law enforcement in cities which do not have a "sanctuary" policy.
San Francisco's policy has put the city in the epicenter of a media maelstrom with the recent murder of 32-year-old Kathryn Steine. The accused killer, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, had been deported several times, was in the country illegally, and was in the custody of the police, but was let go.
2. THE "ILLEGAL ALIEN" DRIVER'S LICENSE
Democrats pushed through a new law that requires the California Department of Motor Vehicles to issue a separate driver's licenses for people who are here illegally. These individuals can actually use a "matricula consular" identification card issued by the Mexican government as valid ID to obtain the driver's license. The same legislation mandated that business must provide "full and equal accommodations" to holders of these illegal immigrant licenses.
3. GOVERNMENT-FUNDED HEALTHCARE FOR ILLEGALS
In the recently-passed California budget there are $40 million dollars set aside for a program that begins to extend health coverage to children of illegal aliens beginning in May 2016, with the program set to ramp up to a whopping $132 million for the 2016-17 budget year.
4. CIVIL RIGHTS PROTECTIONS FOR ILLEGAL ALIEN DRIVERS
Now that illegal aliens have the privilege of legally driving on California roads, the governor and Legislature have followed up with another law expanding the anti-discrimination measures of the first bill. These illegal alien drivers now are protected under the Unruh Civil Rights Act and the Fair Employment and Housing Act. That's right - if you refuse to rent an apartment to someone because they are in the United States illegally - because you see it marked on their driver's license - you can be sued!
5. TAXPAYER SUBSIDIES FOR ILLEGALS TO ATTEND PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES
It is now the law in California that if you are an undocumented alien, a citizen of a foreign country, but you have been residing in California, you qualify for lower "in state" tuition and fees at the University of California, California State University and California Community College campuses. That's right - if you are an American citizen or legal resident, but from another state, you pay significantly higher fees, but illegal residents of California receive the same benefits as students here legally.
Two more laws recently enacted also make it clear that illegal aliens who are attending both public and private universities can apply for publicly-funded CalGrants, and can legally pursue private school loans as well. The estimated annual cost to California taxpayers for the public aid for these people in the country illegally? Closing in on $40 million per budget year.
6. GRANTING OF PROFESSIONAL LICENSES TO ILLEGALS
Yet another California law passed by Democrats prohibits about 40 state licensing boards that confer legal status to professional occupations from "denying licensure to an individual based on his or her citizenship or immigration status."
These professions range from doctors, pharmacists and psychologists to real estate agents and security guards, to just name some of the dozens. State law now also allows an illegal alien to sit for the California Bar exam and be given a license to practice law in California.
7. UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS FOR ILLEGALS "DEFERRED" UNDER OBAMA'S EXECUTIVE ORDER
President Obama decreed that illegal immigrants who entered the United States before 2010 who were 16 years or younger when they crossed into the U.S. can obtain renewable work permits, staying in the country indefinitely. It is estimated that close to two million people could be eligible nationally. Now, under California law any of these individuals are also eligible to receive unemployment benefits. That law also requires the California DMV to issue official state ID cards to any such individuals.