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The Regents of the University of California. The Mayor and City Council of Los Angeles. The State of California Legislature.

What do they each have in common with . . . Benedict Arnold?

Yeah, that Benedict Arnold (1741-1801), the early American hero of the Revolutionary War (1775-83) who later became one of the most infamous traitors in U.S. history after he switched sides and fought for the British.

“Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them, or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid or comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death.” 18 United States Code 2381.

Since shortly after the November 8 elections, members of the University of California community have been expressing increasing unease and concern about Donald Trump’s presidency and its potential effects on people who are in the country without legal permission.

U.C. President Janet Napolitano told her regents in their opening session of the 2016-17 school year that “understandable consternation” about Trump had prompted her and the chancellors to reaffirm their commitment to inclusion and equal opportunity. “It is more important than ever that we preserve our core values, expand opportunity and create and share knowledge in the public interest,” Napolitano said.

This is a public institution. Just whose core values is Napolitano referring to? Who set them? The Wife and I are dues paying members in good standing of the California public. I don’t recall anyone discussing the UC systems core values with us.

Napolitano also said she has formed a task force to “help” UC students who are in the country without legal permission and may be at greater risk of deportation under the pending Trump administration. And under enforcement of existing federal law that predates President Elect Trump.

The task force will look at ways to “support” UC’s estimated 3,700 students who are without legal residence from potential fallout of any Trump decisions on immigration, said UC spokeswoman Dianne Klein. That support could include legal aid and mental health services (for those stressing out over possible loss of their “safe spaces” on UC campuses), Klein added. One wonders whose money is going to be used to pay for such services. California taxpayers who support the UC system, including those who believe in upholding federal law?

Speaking of support, the UC system receives more than $8.5 billion per year in federal dollar—a significant chunk of the system’s $25-billion annual budget. Will any of those funds be at risk if the UC system chooses to become a “sanctuary campus” protecting those in the country illegally? Do the UC regents have a right to play chicken with the viability California’s UC system? Are they authorized to knowingly violate federal law?

These are interesting questions, UC regents spending public California funds, and jeopardizing the UC system, to aid illegal immigrants to violate existing federal law. The UC regents may indeed be embarking upon a very dangerous course, and precedent.

The City of Los Angeles and the State of California have recently made public remarks not unlike those of the UC regents. And they too are putting important city and state federal grants and subsidies at risk. For example, Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson has just announced that he’ll seek to hire an “immigration advocate” to prevent Los Angeles residents from being deported. How will the U.S. Department of Justice under the new regime feel about that? And who’s going to pay that advocate’s fees?

I have for years now been advocating the urgency of fairly overhauling our federal immigration laws. However, until that happens, it seems to me that our California “leaders” and representatives should keep in mind who was and was not just elected President.

Cluck, cluck, cluck.


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