Senator Joe Anderson puts cards on table against SB-54

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By Richard Eber, California Political News and Views  

Joel Anderson Rep. (San Diego) is not your typical Sacramento politician who talks through both sides of his mouth trying to please everyone.  The outspoken Anderson does not mince words nor concern himself with making his views more PC for the “progressives”  types who dominate the legislature.

This no nonsense conservative stands out because of his blunt approach to tackling the State’s fiscal and law enforcement problems.  Currently under his radar is SB-54 authored by Senate Majority Leader Kevin De Leon Dem. (Los Angeles). At its core, the measure mandates all city and county law enforcement agencies to adapt Sanctuary City policies to protect every undocumented resident, regardless of their criminal backgrounds.

Anderson has stood virtually alone in the legislature for fighting for convicted felons to be deported while at the same time having State agencies co-operating with ICE.  For this stand Anderson has been called racist, a label he vehemently disagrees with. The Senator is also puzzled why the mainstream press knows SB-54 protects bad people but still has said virtually nothing about what the ramifications of passage might have on communities.

At the Republican State Convention last month in Sacramento, Joel Anderson sat down with the California Political News & Views and put his cards on the table about his opposition to SB-54 and how if enacted it would affect citizens in the State.

What are there so many sanctuary cities in California?

First if all they are not the majority. Most cities in California are not so. The term sanctuary is a misnomer. The Federal Government at any time can execute on federal law. That entire sanctuary means is that locally they decided do not wish to assist the Federal government in any way, state, or form.

SB 54 takes those communities that do not wish to be sanctuary and forces them to be Sanctuary.  The money the Fed Gov gives the state $135,000,000 for immigration thru law enforcement to fight felons.  That money is at risk because we no longer qualify for those grants.

Would SB 54 have significance in anything else other than law enforcement?

No, the low lying fruit is that we have 135,000,000 goes to off-set the cost of having undocumented people in our prisons and jails so the first time you mention that you believe there are felons that are undocumented people from the left want to label you as a racist. But we have over 11,000 felon’s murders, child molesters, rapists serving in our state prisons. This 7% figure is not stagnant and changes. If you do not recognize this, does this not make you a crime denier?

That’s a good question.  Doesn’t it cost about $ 71,000 each to house these people?

I’m not sure but under SCAAP (State Criminal Alien Assistance Program) over $61,000,000 per year is given the state to offset the cost of housing undocumented prisoners.  If SB-54 is passed and those people are protected when they finish their sentences, the state would lose this funding.

What about other money given the State that might be lost?

There’s money out there for gangs and Homeland Security.  There are all types of programs that might be affected. I’m just not familiar with all of them.  It takes a long time to figure everything that would be impacted if SB-54 is passed. One thing is certain; it would be a major hit on law enforcement, especially on the County level, for neighborhood safety if this legislation passes

What about the impact on passing SB-54 that goes beyond just losing funding

Good question.  Let me say this.  If SB 54 passes and we stop co-operating with the Federal Government in shield murderers, rapists, child molesters and other felons, that guarantees that they will return to communities .  I don’t want any more of these people back.  They don’t have a litmus test to see if their victims are US citizens.  They prey on everyone including the Dreamers in minority communities.  It is important they be deported.

What would happen to this process if SB54 is enacted?

If you are not willing to communicate with the Federal Government when these undocumented felons are paroled, when you have 11,000 or 12,000 plus, you can’t deport them in one day so you have to prioritize them. This means dealing with the most pressing cases of those criminals that are soon to be released and deport them before they re-offend.

How would the operation of ICE be affected?

 When the communication is cut off between the State and ICE, this forces them to do sweeps of communities to find these felons. Because of this, Dreamers and other law abiding undocumented residents might be found and ultimately deported. This is the very thing Democrats don’t want to happen they are guaranteeing by no communicating with the Federal Government on deporting hardened criminals.

Doesn’t the left imply that deporting hardened criminals does not apply to Sanctuary City policies?

SB-54 only applies to them because all the protection for dreamers was under the Trust Act in 2013.  This goes beyond that to protect the worst felons in our prison system.  Just to summarize SB-54, you can’t rent space to ICE, give them access to computers or co-operate with them in any way.

What is normally the procedure that ICE uses that would affect how they do their job?

In most cases ICE rents space and have access to their computers. This enables them prioritize the worst offenders to deport first.  They just don’t select people at random. After SB-54 is passed ICE will not receive co-operation with the State to execute warrants.  Now you are forcing the Feds to go into the street sweeping to find these felons and where they might also find dreamers that they would be forced to deport as well. SB-54 actually undermines the State trying to protect the Dreamers.

Tell me about your petition against passage of SB-54?

I think the majority of Californian’s regardless of their political backgrounds don’t want dangerous murders, rapists, and child molesters protected so they are guaranteed to be returned to their communities. They want these people deported.  You talk to anybody. Nobody will say “Gosh, I have a five hear old at home so we want more pedifiles living in my neighborhood.” I believe if we can collect 100,000 signatures for this petition that might be a strong enough signal to the author to drop this bill.

What if this does not work and the two thirds Democratic Majorities pass this bill?

Then I believe Governor Brown will do right for the people of California and veto this bill

Are you receiving any bi-partisan support across the aisle on defeating this measure?

Not yet. Some of my colleagues feel that SB-54 is part of family unification and they don’t think anyone should be deported for any reason.  On the flip side Governor Brown has said these people have to go.  Even the author of bill Kevin De Leon when he introduced the bill said hardened criminals need to be deported. Last week former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa basically said the same thing. When you look at the leadership on the Democratic side some agree with my position but have they signed my petition? No, but I welcome their signatures at any time

What about Gavin Newsom?  Where is he on this issue?

I haven’t asked Gavin but you know what? He’s running for Governor and putting his finger in the air and figure out where he’s going to get the most votes.  Never underestimate a politician’s ability to waffle on issues just for votes or attention. For them, it’s a race to the front page!

If neither of these things you are trying to do don’t work out, would you consider collecting petitions and putting this issue on the Ballot?

Absolutely!  I had a reporter ask me “What about the other murders, rapists, and child molesters in our prisons?” I told him “if we had another country stupid enough to accept them. I’d send them.  But sadly they are home grown so this is out of the question. However, we don’t have to be importing other countries problems either.”

What about other people especially those who belong to gangs that are merely accused of committing serious felonies?

SB-54 shields them so they are also part of the problem and the dynamic which puts more people in the system who we must deal with. 

What happens when undocumented felons return to the community after their sentences are up and they need housing, counseling, medical care, supervision from law enforcement and other services?

Well, that’s all true but my concern is that they are shielded from so they that they are guaranteed to return to our communities. That’s the biggest fear.  My job as Vice Chair of Public Safety is to protect all Californian’s and enact good policies to protect people. Shielding hardened felons to be returned to our communities that could and should be deported is wrong which is why I am fighting so hard against SB-54 being passed.

Joel Anderson Rep. (San Diego) is not your typical Sacramento politician who talks through both sides of his mouth trying to please everyone.  The outspoken Anderson does not mince words nor concern himself with making his views more PC for the “progressives”  types who dominate the legislature.

This no nonsense conservative stands out because of his blunt approach to tackling the State’s fiscal and law enforcement problems.  Currently under his radar is SB-54 authored by Senate Majority Leader Kevin De Leon Dem. (Los Angeles). At its core, the measure mandates all city and county law enforcement agencies to adapt Sanctuary City policies to protect every undocumented resident, regardless of their criminal backgrounds.

Anderson has stood virtually alone in the legislature for fighting for convicted felons to be deported while at the same time having State agencies co-operating with ICE.  For this stand Anderson has been called racist, a label he vehemently disagrees with. The Senator is also puzzled why the mainstream press knows SB-54 protects bad people but still has said virtually nothing about what the ramifications of passage might have on communities.

At the Republican State Convention last month in Sacramento, Joel Anderson sat down with the California Political News & Views and put his cards on the table about his opposition to SB-54 and how if enacted it would affect citizens in the State.

What are there so many sanctuary cities in California?

First if all they are not the majority. Most cities in California are not so. The term sanctuary is a misnomer. The Federal Government at any time can execute on federal law. That entire sanctuary means is that locally they decided do not wish to assist the Federal government in any way, state, or form.

SB 54 takes those communities that do not wish to be sanctuary and forces them to be Sanctuary.  The money the Fed Gov gives the state $135,000,000 for immigration thru law enforcement to fight felons.  That money is at risk because we no longer qualify for those grants.

Would SB 54 have significance in anything else other than law enforcement?

No, the low lying fruit is that we have 135,000,000 goes to off-set the cost of having undocumented people in our prisons and jails so the first time you mention that you believe there are felons that are undocumented people from the left want to label you as a racist. But we have over 11,000 felon’s murders, child molesters, rapists serving in our state prisons. This 7% figure is not stagnant and changes. If you do not recognize this, does this not make you a crime denier?

That’s a good question.  Doesn’t it cost about $ 71,000 each to house these people?

I’m not sure but under SCAAP (State Criminal Alien Assistance Program) over $61,000,000 per year is given the state to offset the cost of housing undocumented prisoners.  If SB-54 is passed and those people are protected when they finish their sentences, the state would lose this funding.

What about other money given the State that might be lost?

There’s money out there for gangs and Homeland Security.  There are all types of programs that might be affected. I’m just not familiar with all of them.  It takes a long time to figure everything that would be impacted if SB-54 is passed. One thing is certain; it would be a major hit on law enforcement, especially on the County level, for neighborhood safety if this legislation passes

What about the impact on passing SB-54 that goes beyond just losing funding

Good question.  Let me say this.  If SB 54 passes and we stop co-operating with the Federal Government in shield murderers, rapists, child molesters and other felons, that guarantees that they will return to communities .  I don’t want any more of these people back.  They don’t have a litmus test to see if their victims are US citizens.  They prey on everyone including the Dreamers in minority communities.  It is important they be deported.

What would happen to this process if SB54 is enacted?

If you are not willing to communicate with the Federal Government when these undocumented felons are paroled, when you have 11,000 or 12,000 plus, you can’t deport them in one day so you have to prioritize them. This means dealing with the most pressing cases of those criminals that are soon to be released and deport them before they re-offend.

How would the operation of ICE be affected?

 When the communication is cut off between the State and ICE, this forces them to do sweeps of communities to find these felons. Because of this, Dreamers and other law abiding undocumented residents might be found and ultimately deported. This is the very thing Democrats don’t want to happen they are guaranteeing by no communicating with the Federal Government on deporting hardened criminals.

Doesn’t the left imply that deporting hardened criminals does not apply to Sanctuary City policies?

Sb-54 only applies to them because all the protection for dreamers was under the Trust Act in 2013.  This goes beyond that to protect the worst felons in our prison system.  Just to summarize SB-54, you can’t rent space to ICE, give them access to computers or co-operate with them in any way.

What is normally the procedure that ICE uses that would affect how they do their job?

In most cases ICE rents space and have access to their computers. This enables them prioritize the worst offenders to deport first.  They just don’t select people at random. After SB-54 is passed ICE will not receive co-operation with the State to execute warrants.  Now you are forcing the Feds to go into the street sweeping to find these felons and where they might also find dreamers that they would be forced to deport as well. SB-54 actually undermines the State trying to protect the Dreamers.

Tell me about your petition against passage of SB-54?

I think the majority of Californian’s regardless of their political backgrounds don’t want dangerous murders, rapists, and child molesters protected so they are guaranteed to be returned to their communities. They want these people deported.  You talk to anybody. Nobody will say “Gosh, I have a five hear old at home so we want more pedifiles living in my neighborhood.” I believe if we can collect 100,000 signatures for this petition that might be a strong enough signal to the author to drop this bill.

What if this does not work and the two thirds Democratic Majorities pass this bill?

Then I believe Governor Brown will do right for the people of California and veto this bill

Are you receiving any bi-partisan support across the aisle on defeating this measure?

Not yet. Some of my colleagues feel that SB-54 is part of family unification and they don’t think anyone should be deported for any reason.  On the flip side Governor Brown has said these people have to go.  Even the author of bill Kevin De Leon when he introduced the bill said hardened criminals need to be deported. Last week former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa basically said the same thing. When you look at the leadership on the Democratic side some agree with my position but have they signed my petition? No, but I welcome their signatures at any time

What about Gavin Newsom?  Where is he on this issue?

I haven’t asked Gavin but you know what? He’s running for Governor and putting his finger in the air and figure out where he’s going to get the most votes.  Never underestimate a politician’s ability to waffle on issues just for votes or attention. For them, it’s a race to the front page!

If neither of these things you are trying to do don’t work out, would you consider collecting petitions and putting this issue on the Ballot?

Absolutely!  I had a reporter ask me “What about the other murders, rapists, and child molesters in our prisons?” I told him “if we had another country stupid enough to accept them. I’d send them.  But sadly they are home grown so this is out of the question. However, we don’t have to be importing other countries problems either.”

What about other people especially those who belong to gangs that are merely accused of committing serious felonies?

SB-54 shields them to so they are also part of the problem and the dynamic which puts more people in the system all of the time we must deal with. 

What happens when undocumented felons return to the community after their sentences are up and they need housing, counseling, medical care, supervision from law enforcement and other services?

Well, that’s all true but my concern is that they are shielded from so they that they are guaranteed to return to our communities. That’s the biggest fear.  My job as Vice Chair of Public Safety is to protect all Californian’s and enact good policies to protect people. Shielding hardened felons to be returned to our communities that could and should be deported is wrong which is why I am fighting so hard against SB-54 being passed.

Richard Eber studied journalism at the University of Oregon. He writes about politics, culture, education restaurants, and fwas ormer city and sports editor of UCSB Daily. Richard is president of Amerasa Rapid Transit, a specialized freight forwarder.


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