California senate passes "anti-Arizona" immigration bill

Once again, here comes California, demonstrating their peculiar knack for proving just how spectacular the invention of federalism is — when states compete, we can aptly see what sort of policies work well, as well as what sort of policies don’t.

In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on Arizona’s SB 1070 law earlier this month, in which the justices (minus Kagan, who recused) unanimously upheld its core provision, the state of California is looking to reverse the trend of states cracking down on illegal immigration. On Thursday, the state senate passed a bill that would instead shield illegal immigrants from status checks:

The Democrat-led state Senate voted 21 to 13 to approve the California Trust Act, dubbed by supporters as the “anti-Arizona” bill. It blocks local police from referring a detainee to immigration officials for deportation unless that person has been convicted of a violent or serious felony.

“Today’s vote signals to the nation that California cannot afford to be another Arizona,” Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, a Democrat who sponsored the measure, said in a statement. …

The bill has the backing of about 100 immigrant rights groups, police chiefs and mayors. It has already passed the Democrat-controlled state Assembly in a 47-26 vote and will go back to the Assembly for a concurrence vote following the summer recess before heading to Democratic Governor Jerry Brown.

The measure seeks to create a national model to counter what backers say is racial profiling inherent in a part of Arizona’s crackdown on illegal immigration that was allowed to stand by the U.S. Supreme Court last week.

Let me break this down for you, California — Arizona is engaged in a “crackdown” on illegal immigration, not because Arizona is full of a bunch of mean racists who don’t want Latinos residing in their state. Arizona is trying to deter illegal immigration because it poses not only huge threats to our national security, but very real and significant economic costs to their state and our country as a whole. The en masse presence of illegal aliens takes a huge toll on Arizona’s coffers, via welfare, education, the justice system, and others, and just stepping aside and allowing illegals to live there undetected is not a solution to the problem.

So, in all of their self-imagined righteousness, California is all about winning the popularity contest, and they’re openly declaring that they’re going to pretty much sit back and all but invite illegal immigrants to come find safe haven in their state (or at least, do much less to deter illegal immigration relative to other states). …Do they not realize the unsustainable incentives they’re creating here?

California, I might add, is struggling beneath an estimated $16 billion deficit for 2012. How can we guess that this ill-thought-out alternative immigration bill is going to effect their already terrible fiscal situation — or do you suppose they thought about that at all?

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