Cuomo Copies California Sanctuary State Laws, Pardons 18 Illegal Immigrants
|| Daily Caller
“New York Governor Andrew Cuomo mimicked California Gov. Jerry Brown’s approach to immigration Thursday, pardoning 18 convicted illegal immigrants who were facing deportation.
Cuomo, a Democrat, praised himself on Twitter for his compassion, before linking to a New York Times article supporting the move. Cuomo claimed the federal government is “tear[ing] families apart” with the current immigration policy and felt he was taking the “critical step” to defend those who were unfairly targeted.
Brown faced backlash in the media Wednesday for his sanctuary state policy, from a man whose son was killed by an illegal immigrant in 2010. Don Rosenberg lost his son Drew Rosenberg when Roberto Galo from Honduras slammed into him with his car and continously him over in an attempt to escape.
Galo had been stopped by the San Francisco police months earlier for driving in the wrong direction down a one-way street without a license. He was not arrested, and instead police cited and released him.”
Escalating the state’s showdown with the Trump administration over illegal immigration, California Gov. Jerry Brown used a Christmas holiday tradition to grant pardons Saturday to two men who were on the verge of being deported for committing crimes while in the U.S.
Brown, pairing his state’s combative approach to federal immigration authorities with his belief in the power of redemption, characterized the pardons as acts of mercy.
With the pardons, the reason for applicants’ deportations may be eliminated, said attorney Kevin Lo of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus, which represented some of the men in a recent class-action lawsuit.
The pardoned immigrants will still need to ask immigration courts to reopen their cases, he said.
The detentions of felons has focused on specific ethnic groups in past months, including Cambodians and Vietnamese, according to immigration lawyers handling the cases. Cambodia has been reluctant to repatriate former felons, but acquiesced to accepting more after the State Department stopped issuing visas in September to a small group of top Cambodian officials and their families.
Two of Brown’s pardons are Northern California Cambodian men picked up in October in those immigration sweeps, Mony Neth of Modesto and Rottanak Kong of Davis.
Kong and Neth were scheduled to be deported Monday, but a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order last week in the lawsuit filed by Lo’s team, delaying their departure.
Neth, 42, was unexpectedly released from Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center on Friday, said his wife, Cat Khamvongsa, and is back home with his family – albeit with an ankle monitor.
Lo said the pardon only covers the felony charge against Neth, but federal immigration law doesn’t allow the pardon to remove a possibility of being deported on the firearms count.
But California gave Neth another gift in 2014 with Proposition 47, the voter-approved ballot initiative that allowed some felony crimes to be reclassified as misdemeanors. Early this month, a court changed Neth’s firearm count to a lesser charge under those guidelines – another step toward restoring his legal status.
On Saturday, Brown extended a total of 132 pardons and 19 commutations. Since returning to office in 2011, he has handed down a modern-era record 1,059 pardons, along with 37 commutations, far more than the 404 pardons and one commutation he made over his first two terms as governor, from 1975 to 1983.
Brown also commuted the sentence of Candace Lee Fox, 57, of Los Angeles, to 15 years to life. Fox has served 33 years in prison for joining others in a killing and robbery when she was 24 and a single mother working as a manicurist.
Fox had reportedly received a a life sentence after she initially agreed to a plea deal from a prosecutor in open court promising possible parole after 71/2 years in exchange for testimony against a fellow assailant.
Inmates may apply to have their sentence reduced or eliminated and must demonstrate exemplary behavior since their conviction. In August, Brown commuted the sentences of nine prisoners convicted over the past three decades primarily of murder or attempted murder.
This is just part of governor Brown’s endless war against Trump, as he’d rather pander to illegal aliens and lose federal funding for such things as disaster aid and law enforcement money than do what is right for actual American citizens.”
Arson Suspect Detained After Being Chased Down by Witnesses in Anaheim Hills Area
“A man suspected of trying to set multiple vegetation fires in the Anaheim Hills area Friday was detained after two witnesses chased him down, police said.
Authorities responded after receiving reports that a male subject dressed all in black was setting fires in an area near the Festival Center, Anaheim Fire and Rescue tweeted shortly before 6 p.m.
The man managed to spark one blaze before being detained by two witnesses who ran after him and held him at the scene until police arrived, authorities said.
An off-duty lieutenant was having dinner with his family when he spotted someone setting a fire in the brush near Santa Ana Canyon Road and Festival Drive, according to police. He called 911.
Another person who was staying at a nearby hotel also saw flames. Scott Nelson watched as authorities set up a perimeter to search for the arsonist.
He was told by a fire commander that authorities were looking for the perpetrator.
While crews were busy putting out the fire, Nelson spotted someone who looked suspicious. Nelson said he has trouble walking, but nevertheless he went after the person.
“Even though I suffer from MS, you know, you got to stop somebody like that,” Nelson told KTLA. “Then I passed a gentleman, said, ‘Hey, there’s an arsonist, I need help.'”
Josh Vietti, a resident of Ventura who was staying in the area because the Thomas Fire is burning in his community, said he had heard rustling prior to being approached by Nelson.
Together, the two men followed the suspect about a half-mile and cornered him until police arrived and took him into custody, Vietti told KTLA.
Authorities thanked the two witnesses for helping to detain the suspect, and said things could have been pretty bad if the alleged arsonist had ignited a blaze.
“This area is very thick underbrush … historically if we have fires in those areas we have hundreds of homes and thousands of residents who would be at risk,” Anaheim Police Department Sgt. Daron Wyatt said.
Authorities searched the area but did not find anyone else and believe they have the sole suspect in custody. He has not been arrested yet.”
The Latest: California governor: Fires are ‘new normal’
|| San Jose Mercury News
“California Gov. Jerry Brown says deadly and destructive wildfires in winter are “the new normal.”
Brown on Saturday toured Ventura County neighborhoods ravaged by a weeklong wildfire that killed at least one person and destroyed hundreds of homes and other buildings.
At a news conference, Brown said drought and climate change mean California faces a “new reality” where lives and property are continually threatened by fire, at a cost of billions of dollars.
He added that gusty winds and low humidity are continuing and warned that there’s a good chance of seeing “firefighting at Christmas.”
He said it will take “heroic” efforts in the U.S. and abroad to stem climate change and urged U.S. lawmakers to pay more attention to dealing with natural disasters such as fires, floods and earthquakes.
Authorities say they’ve counted some 800 homes and other buildings destroyed by wildfires ravaging Southern California for the past week.
Six fires driven by gusty Santa Ana winds have torched neighborhoods and rural communities from Ventura County north of Los Angeles all the way south to San Diego County.
One person died in a car crash Wednesday trying to escape the largest fire in Ventura County.
Gov. Jerry Brown toured the devastated neighborhoods on Saturday.
The fire also is burning toward a sanctuary for the endangered California condors in Los Padres National Forest.”
California’s Sanctuary State Law Is Moving Forward
|| Hot Air
“Monday California Governor Jerry Brown reached an agreement with California Senate leader Kevin de León which will make California a “sanctuary state.” The bill, known as SB54, is designed to create a legal wall of sorts between illegal immigrants and U.S. immigration authorities.
s originally submitted by de León earlier this year the bill would have prevented ICE from interviewing people about their legal status in the state’s jails and prisons, even if they had been arrested for a violent crime. However, strong opposition from state law enforcement officials had an impact. In March Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones told reporters, “If SB 54 passes, it will allow dangerous, violent career criminals to slip through the cracks and be released back into our communities.”
Governor Brown apparently heard those complaints and convinced de León to water down his original version of the bill in exchange for his guarantee he would sign it. The Mercury News reports on what the bill does and doesn’t allow:
The latest version of Senate Bill 54 would allow federal immigration officers to interview people in custody — though they can no longer have permanent office space in jails, according to information provided by Senate Leader Kevin de León’s office, who wrote the bill. The changes also would exclude state prisons from many of the requirements and would expand the list of crimes that would be exempted from some of the bill’s key provisions, amendments sought by some law enforcement groups as well as Brown…
SB 54 still prohibits law enforcement officers from asking people about their immigration status, participating in border-patrol activities, arresting people on civil immigration warrants, or acting as deputized immigration enforcement agents.
It still would restrict the ability of California law enforcement officers to notify federal immigration agents about the immigration status of some detainees or to transfer some inmates into federal custody. But in a concession to law enforcement, a longer list of crimes would be exempted from those restrictions, such as felony assault convictions within the previous 15 years.
The Hill adds that the bill “would also require California schools, hospitals, libraries and court houses to restrict enforcement of federal immigration laws on their premises.” All of this is being done to block what is seen as increased deportation activity by ICE under the Trump administration.”
San Diego Hepatitis A Outbreak Deaths Reach Sixteen To Date
|| Union-Tribune San Diego
“San Diego County’s hepatitis A outbreak shows no signs of slowing, according to the latest update released Tuesday by the county Health and Human Services Agency.
The outbreak’s death total rose to 16 — one more than last week’s total. The number of confirmed cases reached 421, up 23 from last week. The number of hospitalizations also pushed higher, reaching 292 from 279 the week before.
New numbers came one day after a city of San Diego contractor began a new sidewalk and street cleaning campaign that has workers using high-pressure sprayers to scour sidewalks with bleach-infused water capable of killing the hepatitis A virus.
The county declared a local public health emergency on Sept. 1, enhancing an ongoing vaccination campaign with the installation of hand-washing stations in locations where homeless residents, who have been hit hardest by the outbreak, gather.
Hand hygiene is a focus of the public health effort to stem the outbreak because the virus can spread when people don’t wash their hands well enough after going to the bathroom and then share food, drink, drugs, have sex or other close contact with an uninfected person.
In recent weeks, public health officials have said that, because the incubation period for hepatitis A ranges from 15 to 50 days, it may take several more months for any positive effects of the current sanitation campaign to be obvious.
The symptoms of hepatitis A infection, which do not appear in all cases, include: fever, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, yellowing of the eyes (jaundice), stomach pain, vomiting, dark urine, pale stools and diarrhea.
Infection can be prevented through vaccination. Though most recover with little or no treatment, a hepatitis A infection can be fatal for those with pre-existing liver damage and other health conditions.
On Wednesday, Mayor Kevin Faulconer has scheduled a news conference to give details about locating multiple large tent structures that could give temporary shelter to hundreds of people living on the streets.
The industrial tents will include beds, showers, restrooms and hand-washing stations.
The mayor’s morning news conference is schedule for the parking lot next to Father Joe’s Villages, which provides services and indoor shelter for the homeless in downtown San Diego. It is unclear whether the parking lot will be a site for one of the tents or how long it will take the city to get the tent program up and running.
The idea of the tents was pushed by San Diego Padres Managing Partner Peter Seidler and chain restaurant operator Dan Shea. They announced in July that they had raised enough money to secure at least two tents, which could accommodate 250 people each.
The city in past years erected temporary tent shelters for the homeless, but that program was abandoned in favor of getting them into permanent housing. That effort has lagged because of a lack of affordable housing and various individuals and groups have urged the city to again provide more temporary shelter until the “housing first” model picks up steam.
A January count of homeless people in San Diego found the population had reached 9,116, a 5 percent increase from last year. Of those, 5,621 were unsheltered, an increase of 14 percent.
The unsheltered population downtown jumped by 27 percent.”
SCOTUS Sides With Trump on Travel Ban over 9th Circuit & other Federal Judges
“The Supreme Court handed President Trump a win Tuesday when it upheld his ban on refugees from six Muslim-majority countries. The ruling blocked a lower court decision.
Trump’s travel moratorium, which temporarily bars visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, stirred protests across the country earlier this year when it was first implemented. In airports from JFK to Dulles, activists charged the White House with discrimination. The airports themselves were overwhelmed because they were not properly prepared. In its second try, the Trump administration offered more guidance, took Iraq off the list of banned countries and assured those with visas that had already been approved that those documents would not be revoked.
The court will consider the travel ban again on October 10.”
Cuomo assigns ‘gang prevention’ cops to Long Island schools where MS-13, others thrive
|| NY Daily News
“ALBANY — Calling schools “the breeding ground” for dangerous gangs like MS-13, Gov. Cuomo on Wednesday announced state police will be going into schools to combat the problem.
Cuomo during a Long Island appearance said “gang prevention officers” from the State Police will be posted in the 10 Suffolk County schools believed to have the highest incidents of gang-related activity.
Suffolk County has been ravaged murders and violence committed by the Central American-based gang. The situation even resulted in a visit recently by President Trump, who vowed to “destroy the vile cartel MS-13.”
Cuomo said he considers MS-13 “domestic terrorists.”
“They are thugs,” Cuomo said. “They are thugs that have to be stamped out.”
Cuomo said school teachers are not equipped to deal with gang violence, which reinforces the need for a police presence that can work with educators to identify early warning signs of gang activity, interact with students, instructors and the community, and serve as a needed resource.
The State Police will also release a gang awareness curriculum, Cuomo said.”
Jerry Brown Plays President; Signs Climate Deal with China
“California Governor Jerry Brown signed a new climate change agreement between the State of California and the People’s Republic of China on Tuesday.
The gesture continued Brown’s efforts to expand ties with China, as well as his diplomatic campaign to push for more action on climate change. It came in the immediate aftermath of President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accords.
A statement by Gov. Brown’s office described the new agreement as follows:
Specifically, the agreement expands cooperation on the advancement of low-carbon, renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies such as zero-emission vehicles, energy storage, grid modernization and low-carbon urban development. Under the agreement, California and China will also deepen their partnership and coordination on greenhouse gas emission and air pollution reduction programs, including emissions trading systems and carbon capture.
The Associated Press reports, however, that the agreement does not bind either China or California to specific greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.”
BOMBSHELL: Obama NEVER Warned State Election Officials About Russian Election ‘Hacking’
“A new and exclusive report by The Daily Caller – Neither Obama nor any member of his cabinet warned state election officials of any Russian effort to hack or interfere with the country’s electoral systems, according to the president of the National Association of Secretaries of State.”
“President Trump announced Thursday that the US will pull out of the Paris global climate pact — fulfilling a campaign promise but alarming other world leaders and even going against the wishes of fossil fuel giants like Exxon and BP.
“The United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord but begin negotiations to re-enter either the Paris accord or an entirely new transaction in terms that are fair to the United States and its workers. So we’re getting out. We’ll see if we can make a deal. If we can’t, that’s fine,” Trump said to cheers during a ceremony in the Rose Garden in which he patted himself on the back for keeping his campaign promises.
“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” Trump added after detailing what he said the costs of remaining in the accord would be.
President Obama in a statement lamented the decision, saying that other nations would benefit at the expense of the US.
EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt and Trump adviser Steve Bannon, both climate change skeptics, pushed the president to withdraw, while Trump’s daughter Ivanka reportedly wanted her father to stay in the accord.
The White House had signaled that the move was likely, but Trump has been known to change his mind at the last minute on such major decisions.
Abandoning the pact was one of Trump’s principal campaign pledges, but America’s allies have expressed alarm about the likely consequences.
Trump’s decision reverses one of the Obama administration’s signature achievements, and means the US will join only Nicaragua — which didn’t think the treaty went far enough — and Syria as UN-member countries that aren’t aboard. Even China and Russia remain committed to the pact.”
Here’s How Trump’s Move To Leave The Paris Deal Affects Climate Change
|| Daily Caller
“President Donald Trump’s decision to leave the contentious Paris climate accord is unlikely to substantially affect greenhouse gas levels that scientists believe contribute to global warming.
Trump’s move to pull the country out of a nearly 200-nation climate pact seeking to reduce the world’s temperature could put the deal in limbo, but it remains to be seen how much the president’s move will affect greenhouse gas levels.
Germany, France, and seemingly every other nation connected to the agreement have been pushing for more renewable energy and less coal usage. European countries have pressured the U.S. to give up coal and move toward solar and wind power, among other alternative sources.
Yet China and India, among other developing nations involved in the Paris deal, have quietly ratcheted up their coal production while accepting subsidies from developed countries to become greener.
China’s coal power generation hit a record 396.1 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) in March, which is 8 percent above coal generation the previous year. That month’s level of coal production came after the country generated a record-breaking 385.6 billion kWh in December 2016, according to recent reports from energy group Platts.
The communist country entered a joint pact earlier this year with Pakistan that is expected to spend around $15 billion over the next 15 years to build close to a dozen coal power plants across the country. China promised to “peak” emissions, not reduce them, by 2030, while the U.S. pledged to cut emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.
Obama made promises made despite greenhouse gas emissions falling dramatically over the past 10 years.
Between 2005 and 2012, emissions fell 11 percent, the majority of which tumbled shortly after the financial collapse, according to the latest reports from the United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change.
China, meanwhile, promised to “peak” carbon emissions by 2030, yet its government plans to increase its coal capacity up to 20 percent. Climate scientists consider coal production to be the primary contributor to global warming. China is the world’s largest emitter of carbon emissions.
Chinese officials proposed a five-year plan last year that would “raise coal-fired power capacity from around 900 gigawatts last year to as high as 1,100 gigawatts by 2020,” which is “more than the total power capacity of Canada,” according to a reporter from The Wall Street Journal.
There is no indication that China or India has any intention of reducing these levels, even as environmentalists and academics continue to claim the country is on the right track. Both countries must dramatically increase. India is the third largest carbon emitter on Earth.”
Trump’s rejection of Paris climate deal is ‘insane’ and ‘deviant behavior,’ California’s Gov. Moonbeam says
|| LA Times
“Gov. Jerry Brown lashed out on Thursday at President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from an historic agreement on climate change, calling it wrong on both economic and environmental fronts.
“His effort is misguided. I would even say, this is an insane move by this president,” Brown said in a conference call hosted by the nonprofit World Resources Institute.
The governor, who had been ratcheting up his rhetoric in the hours before the widely expected action on the Paris climate change accord, said the decision may backfire on the president.
“And, in fact, Trump may well create the exact opposite of what he intended,” the governor said. “And that is an aroused citizenry in America, and aroused nations of the world who will not tolerate this kind of deviant behavior from the highest office in the land.”
Brown also announced a pact with the governors of New York and Washington to create an alliance of states that vow to uphold the Paris agreement even without federal support. That agreement, according to a news release from Brown’s office, would create a new partnership to “strengthen existing climate programs, promote the sharing of information and best practices, and implement new programs to reduce carbon emissions from all sectors of the economy.”
Opponents of Gov. Brown’s transportation plan say road money has been misused in the past — they’re wrong according to the LA Times
| LA Times
“The chief argument against raising taxes on motorists to pay for road repairs is that Sacramento Democrats can’t be trusted.
They have a rotten history, Republicans contend, of stealing the drivers’ tax money and spending it on nontransportation goodies.
And that argument is basically bunkum.
It’s a convenient excuse to vote against unpopular tax hikes. It plays well with the public’s perpetual-but-rising mistrust of government. And more than that, it feeds the natural desire of people to make someone else pay for things they want.
Gov. Jerry Brown is trying to patch up roads — and correct past mistakes — before term limits oust him after next year.
Brown admits he didn’t pay enough attention to road construction his first time as governor from 1975 to 1983. In fact, many blame Brown for starting the erosion of our once-superb highway system.
“I didn’t realize how much our roads and infrastructure … cost,” Brown said in a rare gubernatorial appearance before a legislative committee Monday. “Since that time there has been a continued deterioration.”
Brown also noted the irony of it all: “When I was governor [the first time], it was the Republicans who were beating down my door for a gas tax. That time, they wanted to do 5 cents. I said, ‘No, we’ll let you have 2.’ So the shoe is on the other foot now.”
“The red line, $8 billion going to $9.2 billion — that is the [annual] needs. Here’s what we’re spending, down here at $2.5 billion. That’s a gap. What I’m telling you is whether you’re a Republican or Democrat, or a man or a woman, that gap is real … a huge gap that is getting bigger. It’s a very simple proposition. Pay now or pay later — and pay a hell of a lot more.”
Brown and Democratic legislative leaders are proposing to raise motorists’ taxes by $5.2 billion annually.
They want to increase the gas tax by 12 cents per gallon and diesel by 20 cents. They’d hike the diesel sales tax by 4 percentage points. There’d be a new annual fee on vehicles based on their worth, ranging from $25 to $175. And electric cars that don’t burn gas would be assessed $100 annually.
Here’s how all that would be spent: 65% on fixing state and local roads, 20% for transit, a portion for improving truck access around ports and some for bicycle and pedestrian lanes.
Highway funding had always been financed strictly by user fees — taxes at the pump, truck weight fees, registrations — until 2000. The state was rolling in money so Gov. Gray Davis decided to spend $2 billion from the general fund on one-time transportation projects.
Whoops! The general fund started running short. So two years later, the general fund “borrowed” back $1.2 billion from Caltrans, which got the money as a gift in the first place. The state still owes $706 million. Under Brown’s legislation, it would be paid back in three years.
Then there are the truck weight fees. Lobbied by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, voters in 2006 voted to borrow nearly $20 billion for transportation infrastructure. Those bonds were to be paid off by — big mistake — the general fund, which feeds off income, sales and business taxes.
But when the recession hit and the general fund was bleeding tens of billions in red ink, Democrats grabbed $1 billion annually in weight fees and used the money to repay the transportation bonds. But it was still being spent on transportation.”
Could California Use Existing Money For Road Repairs?
“Why not use current money to pay for California’s crumbling roads and bridges?
Republican state lawmakers say that approach would be far better than the controversial gas tax hike proposed by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and top state Democrats.
Gas tax revenue has historically funded road repairs in the state, but has declined as cars have become more fuel efficient. That, in turn, has left California with a huge backlog of road repairs.
Speaking outside the state Capitol on Wednesday, Republican State Assembly Leader Chad Mayes said Sacramento has a history of diverting transportation dollars. He cited the $1.1 billion in truck weight fees, some of which previously funded road repairs, but was diverted to pay off debt for new transportation projects.
“That’s the problem today,” Mayes said. “We have enough money to properly fund our transportation. But they’ve taken that money and spent it on a whole bunch of other projects that these politicians in Sacramento have wanted to.”
Republican Assemblyman Vince Fong of Bakersfield said the state GOP proposal, AB 496, would raise enough money to repair roads without requiring any tax increases. It would draw on existing revenue including the $3 billion the state collects annually in vehicle sales tax revenue, money that now goes to the general fund.
Taking that money, however, would lead to deep cuts in social services, said State Transportation Agency Director Brian Kelly.
“It would impact the general fund by about $3 billion,” Kelly said. “And, so, where are you going to take it from? Are we going to shut down the UCs? Are we going to take it out of education. Are we going to stop providing health care for folks. I mean, you’ve got to make those kind of decisions.”
The Brown Administration’s tax proposal would raise the gas tax by 12 cents a gallon, the diesel tax by 16 cents per gallon and impose a new fee based on the value of a driver’s vehicle. It would also place a $100 charge on emission-free vehicles.
In a February report, the nonpartisan California Legislative Analyst’s Office recommended increasing taxes and fees to meet the state’s road repair needs.
“As the Legislature considers various sources of revenue for a transportation funding package, we think a good approach is to focus on increasing existing taxes and fees on fuels and vehicles to maintain the state’s general approach to having users of the transportation system pay for the associated costs,” the report said.
Brown has said California has $59 billion in deferred maintenance on state highways and $78 billion on local streets and roads.
California last raised its gas tax in 1994.
The Legislature is expected to vote on the proposal as early as Thursday.”