Should persons that have entered the United States illegally be entitled to taxpayer-funded legal assistance to fight their deportations — even if they’ve been convicted of felonies such as murder?
California Democrats think so and they are backing a controversial bill by Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D) Assembly Bill 617 let illegal immigrants who have been convicted of serious or violent felonies get taxpayer-funded grants to hire lawyers to fight deportation from the US.
In 2017 California Democrats voted to create a government grant program called One California to provide $45 million per year in grants for nonprofits that provide defense and other legal services for low-income illegal immigrants.
Current law prevents illegal immigrants who have been convicted of serious or violent felonies from accessing these taxpayer funds. AB 617 would change this requirement and expand access to these violent felons.
Carl DeMaio, chairman of Reform California, says the bill is a slap in the face to California’s taxpayers.
“Not only is this offensive to taxpayers to have to pay for $45 million in legal bills for illegal immigrants — and possibly illegal immigrant violent felons, but it is offensive to treat non-citizens with the same or better benefits as citizens,” said DeMaio.
“For example, if a citizen got sued by the federal government for not paying taxes, they would never get a grant from their state government to hire a lawyer and fight the feds - but these illegal immigrants are,” DeMaio noted.
DeMaio says that the $45 million per year currently allotted to the legal defense of illegal immigrants is bad enough, but that expanding the protection to violent felons will incentivize more illegal immigration — of violent felons.
“This bill will cause crime to skyrocket because it will help let loose more violent felons on our streets and encourage more to come here and seek help from the reckless politicians in Sacramento,” explained DeMaio. “The last thing we want is more violent felons in California.”
DeMaio and Reform California are leading the campaign to restore public safety in California and stop bad policies like aiding and releasing violent felons in our communities. Get involved by contributing to the fight to restore public safety.