Making Progress Together
Last week the California Legislature reconvened to begin the 2017-18 Legislative Session. As I was taking the oath of office, I could not help but think about the great honor of serving the beautiful communities of the North Bay and about the incredible challenges facing California.
There is concern that the federal government will pursue an agenda that threatens health care, our precious natural resources, civil rights, and the rights of immigrants. Here in California we need to be vigilant in protecting the hard-fought advances we have made over the last several years.
While many of us feel dispirited about what is going on in our country, now is not the time to be silent nor complacent. We must denounce President-elect Trump's policies of division and discrimination and instead accept America for what it truly is. A compassionate nation that embraces our diversity.
When Trump targets a specific group for mass deportation, we must call it by its name. Ethnic cleansing.
That is why last week, I introduced Assembly Joint Resolution 2 calling for Trump to stand down from his immigration policies of ethnic cleansing. Last week the Senate and Assembly also passed resolutions calling for a humane approach to immigration that recognizes the intrinsic value of the human spirit that exists in all Americans including immigrants.
Immigration and diversity are part of what make America a great nation already. Many immigrants are Veterans who put their lives on the line to defend our country. Many are children who have known no other home than the land of the free.
We must not tolerate this. Our country is better than this. And our California communities are better than this.
I am co-authoring SB 54 (De León), which was introduced last week and will provide that California is a sanctuary state. In California we have policies that provide health, safety, education, and an environment where all people can thrive. California is a state where everyone is welcome. SB 54 will make it clear California public schools, hospitals, and courthouses will not be used to deport our families, friends, neighbors, classmates, and co-workers.
While Congress failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform, I continue to work with my colleagues to better protect all Californians. Last year we crafted the Immigrants Shape California package to protect hardworking undocumented immigrants from fraud, discrimination, lack of health care, and the unintended consequences of our criminal justice system. I proudly authored two laws in this package to protect immigrant children.
These are just a few of the ways I am fighting back, and there will be more to come.
Together let's ensure California remains a place of inclusion and fight to protect our community, so that we continue to set an example for our great country.