The new session of the California legislature began today as new members were sworn in. Dominated by Democrats holding a two-thirds majority in both chambers, the Golden State began to lay out the legislative resistance to Donald Trump's racist, xenophobic agenda from day one.
A set of bills introduced today take aim at the very heart of the Trump agenda: two bills are being introduced to beef up legal representation for undocumented immigrants, and others are on the docket to rebuff Trump's wall and unconstitutional Muslim registry. California Senate President Pro-tem Kevin de Leon's statement on the measures reads, in part:
SB 6 by Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) would create a state program to fund legal representation for those facing deportation. AB 3 by Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) would create state-funded regional centers to train defense attorneys and public defender’s offices on immigration law and the consequences of criminal convictions.
These legislations are to be passed on an urgent basis, which means that Democrats are putting to test their new two-thirds majority These bills were announced at a joint presser by the state legislative leaders and the leaders of the diverse caucuses of the California legislature, including the Latino and API Caucuses. The California Assembly and Senate also adopted resolutions with stern warnings to the incoming Trump administration.
In the mean time, Sen. Richard Lara in the state Senate has introduced three bills: one to refuse California's cooperation in any religious registry, a second would require California voter approval before walls can be built on our border, and Lara's third piece of legislation would lock out the private prison industry out of any immigration related business in our state.
This is only the beginning. I said before that California will become the epicenter of the resistance against Donald Trump (and really, bigotry in a large scale). Our officials and our citizens will follow through, because the largest, the economically strongest and the most culturally vibrant state in the union has no plans to humor modern day Nazi-ism in the nation's capitol.