Capitol Alert

Trump plan to cut legal immigration doesn’t uphold family values, California leaders say

Maria Torres, of Stockton, takes the oath for US Naturalized Citizens on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 at the Memorial Auditorium along with more than 900 other US residents.
Maria Torres, of Stockton, takes the oath for US Naturalized Citizens on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 at the Memorial Auditorium along with more than 900 other US residents. hamezcua@sacbee.com

From U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris to state Attorney General Xavier Becerra, California’s Democratic political leaders were quick to condemn President Donald Trump’s newly announced plan to slash legal immigration to the U.S., described as a dramatic overhaul to national immigration policy.

Two Republican U.S. senators who originally introduced the bill said it would cut overall immigration to the U.S. in half. The measure would establish a “skills-based points system” for permanent worker visas determined by education level, English-language abilities and other factors. It scales back eligibility for family-sponsored green cards, among other provisions aimed at capping legal foreign immigration.

California Republican officials were largely silent on the plan. Democrats had plenty to say:

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris: “Immigrants don’t just belong in America, immigrants have built America. I oppose the RAISE Act.”

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein: “The immigration bill unveiled today by the White House betrays our country’s values. My mother emigrated from Russia as a child – she couldn’t speak English and had no education. Her daughter graduated from college and became a U.S. Senator. Under this bill, my mother would have been turned away.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: “America was built by immigrants. Their hope and courage are a pillar of the American experience. Democrats will never stop fighting for them.”

Rep. Ted Lieu: “This dumb proposal would have barred my family. I grew up with lots of Polish and Italian neighbors. It also would have barred many of them.”

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra: “Republicans always say that they are the party of family values, but now we see who they truly are. They believe in family values when one is an American citizen but, when one is a legal resident or immigrant, family does not matter.”

California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León: “The politics of resentment and bigotry tear at the fabric of an already great country. Cutting legal immigration by half won’t make us safer or bring jobs back. It’s only meant to further divide our amazing nation by perpetuating the stereotype that all will be well if we do something about ‘those foreigners.’ 

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla: “New immigrants are the embodiment of the American dream. We should reject Trump’s cynical proposal that seeks to erode the very nature of who we are as a country. As a people, we are better than this.”

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MEMORIAL: A memorial service and reception for former Senator Dave Cogdill, who passed away in July after battling pancreatic cancer, will be held Friday at CrossPoint Community Church in Modesto at 11 a.m. A reception will immediately follow. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to Community Hospice or Bless The Kids in Modesto.

PROTECT THE VOTE: California Secretary of State Alex Padilla will be joined by former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander for a conversation about the role of civic engagement in our democracy and the need for all eligible citizens to be able to cast their ballot. Their discussion begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at 555 Post St. in San Francisco.

CRUSHING IT: Grapes are Sacramento’s third largest agricultural commodity, according to the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. Starting at 10 a.m. Thursday, the Chamber will host a conference at the Hyatt Regency on L Street, with speakers like John Aguirre of the California Association of Winegrape Growers and Lori Ajax of the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation discussing the state of the industry. Several local wineries from the region will also be present at the event, offering tastings along a “winery row” at the State of Agriculture Luncheon.

BY THE NUMBERS: A bill to establish a universal health care system in California passed the Senate earlier this year before it was sidelined in the Assembly. Newly released state lobbying data shows that 124 groups, from major health care industry players such as the California Medical Association to more unexpected voices like the California Fresh Fruit Association, sought to influence officials on Senate Bill 562 in the first six months of 2017.

THIS BILL COULD BUG: A bill that prohibits the residential use of pesticides that contain certain anti-coagulants has met opposition from the Structural Pest Control Board, which has stated that it limits a licensee’s ability to protect consumers from rodent pests. The board will discuss possible actions on Assembly Bill 1687 during a teleconference at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Department of Consumer Affairs in Sacramento.

MUST READ: Bee reporter Christopher Cadelago explains how Gavin Newsom accumulated his wealth and offers an in-depth look at the most monied candidate in the 2018 governor’s race.

Rennie Svirnovskiy of The Bee Capitol Bureau contributed to this report.

Taryn Luna: 916-326-5545, @TarynLuna

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