The United States has 5,525 miles of border with Canada and 1,989 miles with Mexico. Our maritime border includes 95,000 miles of shoreline. That is 102,514 miles of porous border, 1.9% of which Trump and the Deplorables are apparently concerned about. Securing the other 98.1% apparently
In a November blog post I wrote:
The 2016 election discourse set off loud alarms.Well, he is President now. In a Washington Post article this week Trump administration seeks to prevent ‘panic’ over new immigration enforcement policies we learn:
Since it would be easy to dismiss the election discourse as meaningless election rhetoric, I feel the need to explain in some detail why this old Native Californian thinks it is time to recognize just how different California is from Ohio and North Carolina and why proposing that Congress authorize the separation of California from the Union is urgent.
Let's begin with a statement of historical facts. Migrants created the California we know today while white illegal aliens from the United States made California a part of the Union. What 96%+ of Americans don't know is the United States government run by the ancestors/predecessors of the current Deplorables...
Sorry America, but we Californians cannot permit a repeat of this kind of bigotry, discrimination, and violence against our people again. After the election, as well as during the campaign, we can observe that focused violence and bullying is growing in the U.S. as a result of Donald Trump and he isn't even President yet.
- from 1880-1943 prevented the families of one group of Californians - the U.S. citizen children of Chinese immigrants - from bringing their family members into California, targeting only this ethnic group of Asians,
- from 1930-1946 in the Mexican "Repatriation" rounded up and deported one group of Californians - American citizens of Hispanic heritage
- from 1942-1945 rounded up another group of Californians - American citizens of Japanese heritage - and put them into concentration camps, and
- in 1954 Operation Wetback was begun which resulted in 1,078,168 arrests and deportations by the U.S. Border Patrol resulting in several hundred United States citizens being illegally deported without being given a chance to prove their citizenship.
...Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly’s memos have alarmed immigrant rights groups because they supersede most of those issued by previous administrations, including policies from the Obama administration aimed at focusing deportations exclusively on hardened criminals and those with terrorist ties.And yet today the headlines are focused on bathroom use in schools, bathrooms controlled by local school districts and the states, all of which have elected governing bodies. It is almost as if Americans don't understand our governments, don't remember our history and/or don't think the government-caused bigotry that caused untold psychological and physical trauma in the 1930's could happen again. Consider Immigrants: The Last Time America Sent Her Own Packing:
Kelly’s directives seek to expand partnerships with local law enforcement agencies to apprehend undocumented immigrants, hire 10,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers and 5,000 new Border Patrol agents, and broaden expedited deportations, currently limited to those in the country two weeks or less, to those who have been in the country for up to two years.
The provisions mandate that the government detain immigrants until they are granted a hearing before an immigration judge, ending the Obama administration’s policy of releasing some to live with relatives until their hearings. Backlogs at immigration courts have delayed hearings for more than a year.
We do not want a repeat of this trampling on the U.S. and State Constitutions known as the Mexican Repatriation in which bigotry became public policy. In the book Decade of Betrayal: Mexican Repatriation in the 1930s authors Francisco E. Balderrama and Raymond Rodríguez you can learn more about the subject. But in response to questions in an NPR interview Balderrama explains:
A 9-year-old girl stood in the darkness of a railroad station, surrounded by tearful travelers who had gathered up their meager belongings, awaiting the train that would take her from her native home to a place she had never been. The bewildered child couldn’t know she was a character in the recurring drama of America’s love-hate relationship with peoples from foreign lands who, whether fleeing hardship or oppression or simply drawn to the promise of opportunity and prosperity, desperately strive to be Americans. As yet another act in the long saga of American immigration unfolds today, some U.S. citizens can recall when, during a time of anti-immigrant frenzy fueled by economic crisis and racism, they found themselves being swept out of the country of their birth.
Emilia Castañeda will never forget that 1935 morning. Along with her father and brother, she was leaving her native Los Angeles. Staying, she was warned by some adults at the station, meant she would become a ward of the state. ‘I had never been to Mexico,’ Castañeda said some six decades later. ‘We left with just one trunk full of belongings. No furniture. A few metal cooking utensils. A small ceramic pitcher, because it reminded me of my mother…and very little clothing. We took blankets, only the very essentials.’
As momentous as that morning seemed to the 9-year-old Castañeda, such departures were part of a routine and roundly accepted movement to send Mexicans and Mexican-Americans back to their ancestral home....
There was not a federal deportation act, even though in some of the literature, it makes reference to that. That did not occur. What one has to be sensitive to to understand this history, is that it occurred in different forms. During the Hoover administration in the late 1920s and early 1930s, particularly the winter of 1930-1931, William Mitchell, the attorney general who had presidential ambitions, instituted a program of deportations. And it was announced that we need to provide jobs for Americans, and so we need to get rid of these other people. This created an anxiety, a tension in the Mexican community. And at the same time, U.S. Steel, Ford Motor Company, Southern Pacific Railroad said to their Mexican workers, you would be better off in Mexico with your own people....In the Apology Act for the 1930s Mexican Repatriation Program, the California Legislature on behalf of Californians officially apologized for the what was done to 9-year-old Emilia Castañeda and the thousands of other American citizens. As explained in 2006 by the Apology Act's author State Senator Joe Dunn:
Now, there was the development of a deportation desk from LA County relief agencies going out and recruiting Mexicans to go to Mexico. And they called it the deportation desk. Now, LA legal counsel says you can't do that. That's the responsibility, that's the duty of the federal government. So they backed up and said, well, we're not going to call it deportation. We're going to call it repatriation. And repatriation carries connotations that it's voluntary....
Downtown Los Angeles around the area of the LA Plaza next to Olvera Street right across from, today, Union Station, near Our Lady Queen of the Angels Church. That particular area was cornered off February 26, 1931 - very different approach of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, who had not planned to do that until the unemployment coordinating committee in LA County announced that raids were going to happen in Los Angeles and then after the fact, informed Washington D.C. about that. And then they followed suit and had raids in Pacoima and San Fernando Valley. But the one here in Los Angeles received a great deal of publicity because it was cornering off a popular area of the city and even rounded up a Mexican vice consul and had him in custody as well. Now, the raid itself didn't net that many people that were deported. But more significantly is those are the banner headlines - that here in Los Angeles, the historic founding of Los Angeles, this great Mexican city, this is what happened. And with that, then we have days and weeks that many Mexicans are not visible publicly because they're afraid of these raids that are occurring.
Repatriation is, in fact, a misnomer. That was the label put on this program by the Hoover administration starting back in 1930 and 1931. In essence, their theory was, `We're going to repatriate those born here in the United States but of Mexican descent back to their, quote, "mother,"' end quote, `country.' That was their words, not mine. And it was a misnomer because the vast majority of those that were illegally deported under this program were born and raised right here in the United States. And the numbers actually, Melissa, if I may for just a moment, are staggering. Almost two million individuals were illegally deported to Mexico, and it's estimated that almost 60 percent or more of those two million were actually United States citizens born right here in the United States.In a 2006 USA Today article (which today seems a naive time), the lack of awareness of the Mexican Repatriation was explained along with a proposal for an apology to come from Congress, while a new 2006 legislative proposal leading to today's situation was defended and a "justification" was offered for what was done because non-Hispanic white people were unemployed:
The phrase that the Hoover administration used was `American jobs for real Americans.' Well, if you were born and raised right here in the United States but just happened to be of Mexican descent, in the Hoover administration's eyes, you were not a, quote, "real American," end quote.
...His mother was cooking tortillas when 6-year-old Ignacio Piña saw plainclothes authorities burst into his home.In fact, the United States Congress refused to pass a similar apology resolution even though it had taken action to apologize to the Japanese for the WWII internment program. Then again, Congress may not have wanted to be forced to bring up the 1950's Operation Wetback. So it should not be surprising but should be disturbing to all Americans that a similar program is about to recur today.
"They came in with guns and told us to get out," recalls Piña, 81, a retired railroad worker in Bakersfield, Calif., of the 1931 raid. "They didn't let us take anything," not even a trunk that held birth certificates proving that he and his five siblings were U.S.-born citizens.
The family was thrown into a jail for 10 days before being sent by train to Mexico. Piña says he spent 16 years of "pure hell" there before acquiring papers of his Utah birth and returning to the USA.
If their tales seem incredible, a newspaper analysis of the history textbooks used most in U.S. middle and high schools may explain why: Little has been written about the exodus, often called "the repatriation."
That may soon change. As the U.S. Senate prepares to vote on bills that would either help illegal workers become legal residents or boost enforcement of U.S. immigration laws, an effort to address deportations that happened 70 years ago has gained traction.
On Thursday, Rep. Hilda Solis, D-Calif., plans to introduce a bill in the U.S. House that calls for a commission to study the "deportation and coerced emigration" of U.S. citizens and legal residents. The panel would also recommend remedies that could include reparations. "An apology should be made," she says.
Co-sponsor Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., says history may repeat itself. He says a new House bill that makes being an illegal immigrant a felony could prompt a "massive deportation of U.S. citizens," many of them U.S.-born children leaving with their parents.
"We have safeguards to ensure people aren't deported who shouldn't be," says Jeff Lungren, GOP spokesman for the House Judiciary Committee, adding the new House bill retains those safeguards.1
"It was a racial removal program," says Mae Ngai, an immigration history expert at the University of Chicago, adding people of Mexican ancestry were targeted.
However, Americans in the 1930s were "really hurting," says Otis Graham, history professor emeritus at the University of California, Santa Barbara. One in four workers were unemployed and many families hungry. Deporting illegal residents was not an "outrageous idea," Graham says. "Don't lose the context."
"We need their jobs for needy citizens," C.P. Visel of the Los Angeles Citizens Committee for Coordination of Unemployment Relief wrote in a 1931 telegram. In a March 1931 letter to Doak, Visel applauded U.S. officials for the "exodus of aliens deportable and otherwise who have been scared out of the community."
Trump's order includes these provisions:
Sec. 10. Federal-State Agreements. It is the policy of the executive branch to empower State and local law enforcement agencies across the country to perform the functions of an immigration officer in the interior of the United States to the maximum extent permitted by law.The California Legislature is considering SB54 which would make the State of California what is called a "sanctuary state." What that means is that state and local officials including law enforcement officers will be severely restricted in how much information they can provide to and how much they can work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other federal officials involved in implementing immigration laws. But as explained in California could become a sanctuary state. What that means:
(a) In furtherance of this policy, the Secretary [of Homeland Security] shall immediately take appropriate action to engage with the Governors of the States, as well as local officials, for the purpose of preparing to enter into agreements under section 287(g) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1357(g)).
(b) To the extent permitted by law, and with the consent of State or local officials, as appropriate, the Secretary shall take appropriate action, through agreements under section 287(g) of the INA, or otherwise, to authorize State and local law enforcement officials, as the Secretary determines are qualified and appropriate, to perform the functions of immigration officers in relation to the investigation, apprehension, or detention of aliens in the United States under the direction and the supervision of the Secretary. Such authorization shall be in addition to, rather than in place of, Federal performance of these duties.
(c) To the extent permitted by law, the Secretary may structure each agreement under section 287(g) of the INA in the manner that provides the most effective model for enforcing Federal immigration laws and obtaining operational control over the border for that jurisdiction.
The current version of the bill would kick ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection out of local jails and restrict their access to some state databases. It also would ban state agencies from asking and collecting anyone’s immigration status.The bill has yet to complete its way through the various Senate committees and then must get through the Assembly. If it does all that, and Governor Brown signs it, it could become law almost a year from now. In the meantime, the feds are moving forward.
Police departments and sheriffs’ offices still would work with ICE and Customs and Border Protection on multi-agency task forces, which sometimes result in deportations. Federal immigration authorities still would have access to fingerprint data from everyone booked into a local jail.
Neither federal nor state laws have defined sanctuary cities, so the term means different things to different people.
“The biggest misconception is that people think that when you declare yourself a sanctuary it means that there is absolutely no contact with ICE, and that is not true,” said Marissa Montes, co-director of the Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. “If ICE wanted to have a raid in downtown LA and did everything procedurally correct, like get a warrant, the city would not be able to stop them.”
The California Constitution and various codes do allow the California Attorney General to engage in the strong and vigorous enforcement of state civil rights laws and protect from violations of their rights enumerated under the California Constitution all persons in the State. The California Department of Justice under the Attorney General has a Civil Rights Enforcement Section deals with the civil rights of all persons including immigrants through the Office of Immigrant Assistance.
From a legal standpoint California has had a very long history arguing against the federal government exceeding it's authority on issues involving immigrants. As part of the Compromise of 1850, California was admitted to the United States. Five years later the State Supreme Court set forth it opinion on the primacy of states regarding citizenship in Ex parte Knowles, 5 Ca. 300, 302 (1855) in which the decision reads as follows:
I come now to the consideration of the main question, whether the State courts of California...have the power to naturalize....Now one might hesitate given the year in which the decision was made, before the Civil War and the Fourteenth Amendment. And the fact is that it was made in liberal California. So let's turn briefly to a more recent frequently quoted ruling in a case involving whether a person could become a sheriff by being a citizen of the state while not a U.S. citizen Crosse v. Board of Supervisors of Elections of Baltimore City 221 A.2d. 431, 243 Md. 555 (Md., 1966) made by the Court of Appeals of Maryland on July 1, 1966:
In the eighth section of the first article of the Constitution, enumerating the powers of Congress, is the following separate clause: "To establish an uniform rule of naturalization and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcy throughout the United States." By metaphysical refinement, in examining the form of our government, it might be correctly said that there is no such thing as a citizen of of the United States. But constant usage - arising from convenience, and perhaps necessity, and dating from the formation of Confederacy [this refers to the pre-1789 United States, not the South in the Civil War] - has given substantial existence to the idea which term conveys. A citizen of any one of the States of the Union, is held to be, and called a citizen of the United States, although technically and abstractly there is no such thing....
At the time of the adoption of the Constitution, the States had power to make citizens of aliens. Does the clause of the Constitution above quoted deprive them of it ? The true rule of construction as to the exclusiveness of the power of Congress is, First - That it must be granted exclusively ; Second forbidden to the States; Third - from the nature of the power, exercise by both must be incompatible and incongruous. Does power under review come within either of these positions ? If examine the language closely, and according to the rules of rigid construction always applicable to delegated powers, we will find the power to naturalize, in fact is not given to Congress, but simply the power to establish an uniform rule. The States are not forbidden to naturalize, nor is there anything in the exercise of power by them, incongruous or incompatible with the power of Congress to establish an uniform rule. That the States, if they choose to exercise the power as an original one, must abide by the rule which Congress makes, there cannot be the slightest difference opinion. The power given to Congress was, according to my appre- hension, intended to provide a rule for the action of the States, and not a rule for the action of the federal government....
...The District Courts of this State are fully invested with power and jurisdiction to naturalize foreigners who exhibit the qualifications fixed by the laws of the United States.
Both before and after the Fourteenth Amendment to the federal Constitution, it has not been necessary for a person to be a citizen of the United States in order to be a citizen of his state. United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542, 549 (1875); Slaughter-House Cases, 83 U.S. (16 Wall.) 36, 73-74 (1873); and see Short v. State, 80 Md. 392, 401-02, 31 Atl. 322 (1895). See also Spear, State Citizenship, 16 Albany L.J. 24 (1877).However, just before the government put Japanese-American Californians into concentration camps the California Legislature modified the statutory definition of a state citizen to defer to Congress. That is unfortunate, and that law needs to be amended as suggested here.
It is important that Californians and the California Government act rapidly and firmly to legally disrupt any reinstitution of federal actions resembling Mexican "Repatriation" and Operation Wetback. If the institutionalization of bigotry isn't enough to generate a sense of urgency, there is this headline which you can click on to read the story:
In the meantime, there is this article:
1 Jeff Lungren, GOP spokesman for the House Judiciary Committee, in 2006 was defending HR4437, which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives but not the U.S. Senate, and which contained the following Trumpian provisions among others...
- Requires up to 700 miles (1120 km) of double-layered fence along the Mexico–US border at points with the highest number of illegal border crossings. (House Amendment 648, authored by Duncan Hunter (R-CA52)
- Requires the federal government to take custody of illegal aliens detained by local authorities. This would end the practice of "catch and release", where federal officials sometimes instruct local law enforcement to release detained illegal aliens because resources to prosecute them are not available. It also reimburses local agencies in the 29 counties along the border for costs related to detaining illegal aliens. (Section 607)
- Mandates employers to verify workers' legal status through electronic means, phased in over several years. Also requires reports to be sent to Congress one and two years after implementation to ensure that it is being used. (Title VII)
- Requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to report to Congress on the number of Other Than Mexicans (OTMs) apprehended and deported and the number of those from states that sponsor terrorism. (Section 409)
- Formalizes Congressional condemnation of rapes by smugglers along the border and urges Mexico to take immediate action to prevent them. (House Amendment 647, authored by Ginny Brown-Waite)
- Requires all illegal aliens, before being deported, to pay a fine of $3,000 if they agree to leave voluntarily but do not adhere to the terms of their agreement. The grace period for voluntary departure is shortened to 60 days.
- Requires DHS to conduct a study on the potential for border fencing on the Canada–US border.
- Sets the minimum sentence for fraudulent documents at 10 years, fines, or both, with tougher sentencing in cases of aiding drug trafficking and terrorism.
Establishes a Fraudulent Documents Center within DHS.
- Increases penalties for aggravated felonies and various frauds, including marriage fraud and document fraud.
- Establishes an 18-month deadline for DHS to control the border, with a progress report due one year after enactment of the legislation.
- Requires criminal record, terrorist watch list clearance, and fraudulent document checks for any illegal immigrant before being granted legal immigration status.
...which is why that article seems so naive - a product of Americans refusing to learn anything about their history and government.