Because You Asked: What Are the Proposed California “Block the Wall” Laws Attempting to Do?
An ATP Report Production – on this episode Barry Nussbaum explains two pending California laws that are intended to punish any California contractors from working on the border wall, and suggests how the courts might decide on these challenges.
Welcome to this segment of Because You Asked, I’m Barry Nussbaum.
Over the past several weeks we have produced several reports and I have appeared on other shows explaining the progress being made towards the implementation of President Trump’s border wall program. Now that initial design proposals have been submitted to the federal government for review, and discussions are taking place both publicly and in private in regards to those design submissions, the process has now veered into a truly bizarre place. Two elected California state officials are attempting to block companies from working on the wall once the contracts are awarded. Today on Because You Asked, we will examine the question: what are these proposed laws attempting to do, and will they be successful?
Two California politicians attempting to stop President Trump’s border wall brought their fight to San Diego last week, but the business bans they are proposing could lead to legal challenges.
State Senator Ricardo Lara and Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, both Democrats, held a press conference with supporters on the steps of the Edward J. Schwartz federal building in downtown San Diego to promote legislation they’ve crafted to punish businesses that work on the border wall.
Lara argued a wall would hurt California’s economy because of money Mexican shoppers spend in San Diego and goods the state exports to Mexico. So, I think he is saying that California wants to support illegal immigration because it is good for the economy when illegals spend money on shopping trips in San Diego. Really? There is already a huge fence on the border in San Diego and no one is going over that fence anymore! And, is he additionally saying that exports into Mexico will decline once the wall is in place. Honestly I don’t understand the logic of that argument at all!
At Thursday’s press conference, Lara further argued the proposed law was legally reviewed before the bill was proposed.
“It’s well within our constitutional rights, under state’s rights, to determine who the state enters into contracts with,” he said.
Gonzalez Fletcher, who co-sponsored the divestment bill, said the President created the wall as a linchpin of his campaign to create a wedge between immigrants and non-immigrants. “We know why Trump was using this whole symbolic, stupid wall metaphor,” she said, “and now he is going to go ahead and waste taxpayer dollars to say he did it. We know it is never going to be completed.”
It would seem that Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher is underestimating both the power of the federal government, and President Trump in particular to get a project built and then her characterization of the wall project as a metaphor, that is attached to a wall, that will never be built.
Lara said he was targeting a specific group of businesses and it would be wrong to paint the legislation with a broad brush. “Would we support companies that would build internment camps? Would we support construction companies that build segregated schools?” He said. “This is the type of issue that we think in California merits that review.”
So, Senator Lara feels that a border wall that would be replacing a border fence that is already in place is the same as building an internment camp or a segregated school. Seriously?
And get this, it’s not just the state of California that is proposing these bans on contractors. San Francisco lawmakers proposed a bill in March that would boycott any companies that plan to utilize their services to help construct the border wall from bidding on any future projects within the San Francisco area.
Leaders at CalPERS, the giant public pension fund that invests the retirement money for California’s public employees, are voicing concerns about a set of bills in the legislature that would compel that $310 billion pension fund to divest from politically unpopular projects, such as President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall. “When you divest, you basically take our voice out of the debate,” said CalPERS Chief Operating Investment Officer Wylie Tollette.
Now the big question, are the proposed laws legal?
Phoenix-based constitutional lawyer and historian Robert McWhirter said a case could also be made that Lara’s proposed law would violate the supremacy clause, which makes the constitution the law of the land, and the commerce clause, which prohibits states from passing laws that burden interstate commerce. “In other words, when the federal government makes a policy, a state can’t go directly against that,” he said. “A state can’t retaliate against companies. You really can’t have a state impinging on free commerce.”
Because you asked agrees. It would seem that California has veered so far left that interfering with federal law is completely acceptable and supported within the state. An argument that says “replacing the existing fence with a wall is just like building an internment camp” has become mainstream in California. We don’t think the courts will allow these craziness to stand.
We will continue to report on this story as it develops.
Thanks Kristine in San Diego for this great question! Please keep your questions coming to American Truth Project and our social media on facebook or twitter. If we select your question you will get a special gift! You can also write to me directly by sending me an email to: email@example.com. And go to our website where you can sign up to be on our mailing list so you never miss an important episode. We’re here to answer your urgent questions because you asked, I’m Barry Nussbaum.
What Are the Proposed California “Block the Wall” Laws Attempting to Do, And Will They Will Be Successful.