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Poll: Most Californians Want an End to Sanctuary Cities

by Jeff Powers, published

San Diego, CALIF.- A stunning new poll is out on the “sanctuary cities” debate, and it shows a huge divide between what the people of California want from their lawmakers, and what state lawmakers are actually doing in Sacramento.

The latest IGS-UC Berkeley poll shows 74 percent of Californians want an end to sanctuary cities. The poll notes 65 percent of Hispanics, 70 percent of independents, 73 percent of Democrats, and 82 percent of Republicans want an end to the designation.

Eighteen cities and counties in California, including the three largest counties -- Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego -- are all currently classified as “Sanctuary.” Governor Jerry Brown recently passed the Trust Act, which essentially makes California a "Sanctuary State."

At his State of the State Address Tuesday, Gov. Brown said, “As a state we can and have had a role to play. California has enacted several protective measures for the undocumented: the Trust Act, lawful driver’s licenses, basic employment rights and non-discriminatory access to higher education.”

The "Sanctuary" classification brings California about $135 million in grants. However, that money could be in serious jeopardy under President Trump, who has vowed to end funding for any city or county that continues the practice.

An attorney for the ACLU, Jonathan Blazer, believes funding cuts to sanctuary cities are unlikely to happen. Blazer notes that Congress has failed to take action even when both the Senate and the House were under Republican control.

Blazer said, “I don’t think that the localities are cowering in the face of this threat by and large, they’re ready for a fight.”

David Carrillo, executive director of the California Constitution Center at Berkeley Law, said this is not the time to take a wait and see approach with the federal government. Carrillo said, “If I’m the governor or the president pro tem of the state Senate, I’d be laser-focused on the California constitution to figure out how I can circle the wagons around the issues Californians care about.”

Californians clearly care about sanctuary cities. They want the practice to end.

Jessica Vaughan, a director of policy studies for the Washington DC-based Center for Immigration Studies noted:

“This irresponsible legislation has already caused the release of thousands of criminals that U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement was trying to deport. Now it may also cost California police and sheriffs critical funding from the federal government. Last year, these grants were worth more than $130 million.”

It’s hard to get 50% of Californians to agree the Sun sets in the West, to get 74% to want an end to sanctuary city policies, speaks volumes.

Photo Credit: ChameleonsEye /

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