Resistance State: California in the Age of Trump
Between Sacramento and Washington D.C. sits the rest of the country, and a chasm. On immigration and taxes, guns and healthcare, cannabis and climate change, California is the federal government’s equal and opposite reaction. One year into President Trump’s first term, the push and pull continues—playing out under the Capitol dome, in the courts and on Twitter.
Ready for another year? Follow along here.
A federal judge in California has blocked deportation of participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, allowing those whose legal status has expired to apply for renewal until a court challenge of the Trump administration’s cancellation of the program is resolved.
The injunction essentially pauses a Trump plan to end DACA, which provides 2-year work permits and protection from removal for some young undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, along with other attorneys general and the University of California, asked for the injunction in November while the underlying court case moves forward.
“Dreamers’ lives were thrown into chaos when the Trump administration tried to terminate the DACA program without obeying the law,” Becerra said. The “ruling is a huge step in the right direction.”
U.S. District Judge William Alsup found that harm would be done if termination of the program began and that the public interest is better served by waiting until the case is decided. Alsup said Washington’s decision was “arbitrary and capricious” and could result in a successful challenge. He wrote: “Plaintiffs have clearly demonstrated that they are likely to suffer serious irreparable harm absent an injunction.”
The White House pushed back, calling the injunction “outrageous.”
On Sept. 5, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that DACA would be terminated in March. The judge’s ruling allows anyone who had DACA status as of that date to submit a renewal application.
Advocates for immigrants are now scrambling to find out when they can begin to re-apply and said it would be up to the Department of Homeland Security.
There are about 690,000 DACA recipients, about 200,000 of them in California.
Becerra said the ruling could give Congress more leverage to try to get DACA renewed without burdening a proposal with compromises that Trump wants, such as a border wall or more border security.
A day after Gov. Jerry Brown agreed to the Trump administration’s request to beef up the National Guard in states along the Mexico border, fellow Democrat Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said he would not have made the same decision as governor.
But Newsom, who is the front-runner in the race to replace Brown as governor, put a large asterisk on his disagreement with Brown:
Brown announced Wednesday that he would accept federal funding to add 400 California National Guard members “to combat transnational crime.” But he laid out a long list of conditions in an agreement with federal authorities: The troops will not build a border wall or enforce immigration laws, and the arrangement is approved only until Sept. 30. Brown also specified that when it comes to the state’s National Guard, he is the “commander in chief.”
America’s Commander in Chief responded Thursday on Twitter: “Thank you Jerry, good move for the safety of our Country!”