This Wednesday, California U.S. Senate candidate Kevin de Leon made a stop in San Diego as part of his statewide campaign tour.
During a media briefing held at Chicano Park, de Leon gave an address focused on immigration-related topics and a federal lawsuit from the presidential administration against California laws.
“Immigrant families, like mine, who still live right here deserve a shot at the American dream just like past generations of immigrants who have come to this country and have made it great,” de Leon opened.
De Leon continued by calling out California Republicans, whom he accused of taking the president’s rhetoric to further their agendas.
He specifically pointed strong words at the County Board Of Supervisors over its 3-1 vote to side with the presidential lawsuit against three pieces of legislation while a majority of San Diego’s voter base is in favor of pro-immigration legislation.
The three votes were cast by Supervisors Kristin Gaspar, Bill Horn, and Dianne Jacobs. Supervisor Greg Cox cast the only dissenting vote while Supervisor Ron Roberts was not present at the meeting held on Tuesday, April 17.
“The San Diego Board of Supervisors, lead by Kristin Gaspar, would have you believe that the sky is falling, that immigrants in the city are in fact wreaking havoc. But when you look at the numbers, this county is actually considered to be safer than the United States as a whole,” de Leon stated.
“Wasting those taxpayer dollars to join Donald Trump in a lawsuit against your home state of California, that is nothing but a betrayal of your home state,” he continued.
In the lawsuit filed in March, the Trump administration targeted three California state laws on the basis that they are unconstitutional. SB 54, the California Values Act; AB 450, the Immigrant Worker Protection Act; and AB 103, the Dignity not Detention Act, are the laws being questioned with legal action.
De Leon, who penned SB54 with former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, stated that there are no legal grounds for the presidential lawsuit against California and that SB54 does not prevent federal authorities from doing their enforcement duties.
“I wouldn’t put a measure out there for the public knowing it is unconstitutional,” de Leon added.
During his address, de Leon was joined by community leaders and human rights advocates who are backing his message going into the June primary elections.
Among these was Tom Wong, associate professor of political science at UCSD, who has conducted research on crime rates in “sanctuary city” jurisdictions.
From the podium, Wong highlighted public mistrust of local law enforcement as a root of cooperation with ICE carries a negative effect on crime reports filed by undocumented immigrants. Data presented also showed a negative effect on placing children in afterschool programs, the number of people likely to apply for new jobs, and participation in public events where police may be in attendance.
Other figures who joined de Leon in delivering his message include Norma Chavez- Peterson of the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties, Border Angels Founder and Director Enrique Morones, State Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, and Father “Pepe” Wilkinson of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish.
After the address, de Leon lead a walk through Chicano Park in which he was scheduled to share anecdotes about growing up in the area with attendees.
De Leon’s activities in San Diego also included a morning trip to the U.S.-Mexico with activists and community leaders as well as an evening meet and greet at Barrio Logan’s Border X Brewing.
De Leon will be running in the June 5 open primary elections against 25-year incumbent Dianne Feinstein. No Republican candidates figure among the top contenders for this race.
Under California’s open primary election format, the two candidates with the most votes, regardless of party affiliation, advance to the November general election.