Criminalfornia, Here We Come

Governor Jerry Brown prepares to privilege the lawless.

As California’s legislative session winds down, Democrats are pushing hard for approval of SB 54, the “sanctuary state” bill authored by the senator formerly known as Kevin Alexander Leon. The Los Angeles Democrat now calls himself Kevin de León, claiming that his Guatemalan-born father was “a quarter, or as much as half-Chinese.” He’s not quite sure about that but as his hagiographers in the Sacramento Bee explain, he “identifies strongly with Mexican culture.” 

Under the Democrat’s sanctuary state bill, police can only transfer someone to federal immigration authorities if they produce a warrant signed by a federal judge or a probable-cause determination. For state law enforcement to transfer a violent felon to ICE, they must be stopped for a legal reason and must have been previously deported. 

On Monday, the senate boss struck a deal that supposedly makes the bill more acceptable to governor Jerry Brown. According to a Sacramento Bee report, the changes give local police discretion to hold for federal authorities those convicted of a serious or violent felony, a misdemeanor punishable as a felony, and other crimes. Federal immigration acts will supposedly have access to those in jail, and state law enforcement will be able to share information from databases. 

State law enforcement has yet to weigh in on the changes, but the illegal lobby still loves the sanctuary state measure. Senate boss Leon said it would “ensure that state and local police are not diverted from protecting our communities in order to enforce federal immigration laws.” The governor claimed the new bill “protects public safety and people who come to California to work hard and make this state a better place.”

On the other hand, what the final bill would look like remained an open question. It could easily be amended at the eleventh hour, and state politicians have a habit of not enforcing the laws they do pass. 

Jerry Brown is already backing attorney general Xavier Becerra in his court fight against the feds and his invective against Trump is second to none. The governor was also soft on violent criminals from the start of his political career, when he gained the governorship on the coattails of his father, a former California governor. 

In the early going, Brown’s major theme was that all judicial proceedings that render a death sentence for a convicted murderer are illegitimate and should be overturned. So he appointed as Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court his former campaign chauffer Rose Bird, an arrogant type with no judicial experience. 

In ten years, Bird duly overturned every death-penalty case that came before her, including that of Theodore Frank, duly convicted of kidnaping, torturing, raping, murdering and mutilating two-year-old Amy Sue Seitz in 1978. In 1986, voters booted Bird by a margin of 67 to 33 percent, and also tossed Brown’s high court appointees Cruz Reynoso and Joseph Grodin, who sided with Bird on the death-penalty cases.

AIM activist Dennis Banks was convicted of riot and assault over a courthouse gun battle at Custer, South Dakota. Banks fled to California, where governor Jerry Brown refused to extradite him. Banks took full advantage of the sanctuary deal by studying at UC Davis, teaching at Stanford and serving as chancellor of Deganawidah-Quetzeloatl University (DQU), a ramshackle leftist outfit near Sacramento. 

Banks remained in California until 1983, when Republican George Deukmejian became governor. With that record of protecting violent criminals, Brown is likely to favor a sanctuary state bill that does the same thing. When repeatedly deported felon Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez gunned down Kathryn Steinle on a San Francisco pier in 2015, Brown did not come out for more cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

After Islamic terrorists Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik killed 14 in San Bernardino in 2015, governor Brown told reporters, “I’m going to be spending some time making sure that our federal-state collaboration really is working.” That cooperation has been little in evidence, and after the election of Donald Trump, Brown became the loudest voice against it. 

Even if the new SB 54 allows more coordination with federal authorities, it still protects those who violated U.S. immigration laws.  In effect, the sanctuary state bill makes a privileged class of foreign nationals who are not supposed to be in the country in the first place. So Jerry Brown, the hereditary governor who ran for President of the United States in 1976, 1980 and 1992, has little use for the rule of law. 

Jerry Brown has made California the illegals’ dream state, and it will be more of a magnet under SB 54. A ballpark figure for the number of violent criminal illegals who will be handed over to ICE, much less deported, is zero.