California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom warned that President Biden’s plans to reverse the border policies of former President Donald Trump would “break” the state.
The Biden administration is planning to lift Title 42, a policy that allows border and police officers to expedite the expulsion of illegal migrants.
In response, Gov. Newsom said, “The fact is, what we’ve got right now is not working and is about to break in a post-42 world unless we take some responsibility and ownership. I’m saying it as a father. I’m saying that as someone that feels responsible for being part of the solution, and I’m trying to do my best here.”
The governor claimed the U.S. government is sending “more and more” migrants to the state because California is “taking care of folks.”
“The more we do, the burden is placed disproportionate on us,” said Newsom.
Newsom continued,” We’re already at capacity at nine of our sites. We can’t continue to fund all of these sites because of the budgetary pressures now being placed on this state and the offsetting issues that I have to address…The reality is, unless we’re doing what we’re doing, people will end up on the streets.”
The governor’s comments come after years of championing policies to accommodate and expand protections for illegal migrants who enter California. Around 22% of the almost 11 million California migrants are in the United States illegally, according to data from the Public Policy Institute of California.
Newsom signed a bill in November that allows state IDs to be issued to illegal immigrants, saying, “We’re a state of refuge — a majority-minority state, where 27% of us are immigrants.”
The governor of California’s 2022-23 state budget was unveiled in January and included universal health care benefits for all low-income residents, including migrants who had entered the state illegally.
Biden administration requesting billions in additional border funding
The Biden administration is requesting additional funding totaling billions in additional border funds as a massive spike in migrant encounters when Title 42, the authority to expel migrants quickly due to the pandemic, ends at the end of the month.
The administration was ordered by a court to stop using the authority granted under Title 42 to quickly expel migrants and return them to Mexico after it was found unlawful. The authority has been used since March 2020.
Governor Newsom criticized Republicans in Congress for failing to support comprehension reforms while politicizing immigration. He was visiting a state-funded migrant center near the Imperial County border with Mexico. The center provides services to asylum seekers.
Because of the lack of federal support, Newsom said California had spent almost $1 billion working with nonprofits to provide temporary shelter and health screenings and help connect nine facilities in San Diego, Riverside, and Imperial counties over the last three years.
“With respect to the federal government, we’ve been doing their job for the last few years at scale,” said Newsom. “But we cannot continue to absorb that responsibility.”
Newsom visited the center his budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year is finalized. An anticipated budget deficit is increasing the financial pressure on California, while an expected greater need for immigrant support services will likely change after Title 42 expires.