Trump Administration and California Continue to Bicker


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Written by: Garret Fantini ’21 (Contributor)

Disputes between President Trump and the state of California can be traced back to the night of his election. Relations between the two radically opposed parties have yet to improve. At times, it seems as though the two are more concerned with their own self-interests than working toward a better America. Some of their latest disputes fall under the topics of undocumented immigration, tax reform, and marijuana legalization.

On September 16th, California lawmakers passed the controversial Senate Bill 54, which granted sanctuary to immigrants without legal residency in the United States. This was an obvious point of tension between the state and Trump, who  has made himself known for his tough action on illegal immigration. Shortly afterward, they encountered severe backlash from the Trump administration from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

According to The LA Times, Sessions, believing that “the bill risks the safety of good law enforcement officers and the safety of the neighborhoods that need their protection the most,” pleaded California governor Jerry Brown to revoke the bill. Brown promptly marked the request as xenophobic and let the bill live on.

Sophomore Josh Phillips, a former resident of California, wholeheartedly disagrees with the recent legislation. Phillips noted that, “the common people had no say in what went on” concerning the bill. He also feels “a sense of betrayal” due to the fact that it weakens the safety of the state.

Many illegal immigrants have committed crimes, and have been held by local jurisdiction. After they have served their time, these immigrants are being re-released into sanctuary, instead of being turned over to ICE. ICE, or Immigrations & Customs Enforcement, are supposed to deport the illegals. When the turnover fails to occur, the lives of many innocent, law abiding U.S. citizens are put at risk. Due to this flawed system, a re-released illegal immigrant was able to gun down San Francisco resident Kate Steinle.

More recently, California voters cemented the legalization of marijuana, by a margin of 56% to 44%. Beginning on New Year’s Day, PCP was treated as a legal substance. In California, those over the age of 21 may now buy a maximum of one ounce from a licensed vendor and use it at will.

This was the case until the Trump administration received notice of the fraudulent activity. The Trump administration jumped on the issue quickly, being that federal laws strictly prohibit the recreational use marijuana.

Just days after, in an effort to protect federal law, the Trump administration allowed prosecutors to more freely enforce the federal laws against marijuana. This was made possible after Jeff Sessions revoked one of Obama’s policies that dissuaded those same prosecutors from attempting to break up the use of illegal substances.

Sophomore Theo Hallal, a resident of California, endorses the recent legalization. When asked, he stated that it could “eliminate and lessen crime”. Theo also noted that a “period of explosion [in marijuana sales] would occur, but it would eventually trend downwards.” He predicts that an increase in teen drug use would coincide with the booming sales.

Throughout the Trump presidency, it’s safe to say that relations with California have been shaky at best. The two have failed to make compromises on multiple fronts. The nation can expect much more of this tension as the Trump administration continues to govern.