Setting aside the snub of hiring Eric Holder to do the job Attorney General Xavier Becerra is supposed appointed and confirmed to do, Senate Pro Tem Kevin de Leon was recently on Univision’s weekend political show Conexión. DeLeon talked about immigration, Donald Trump, defending California’s rights and the like. He mentioned Eric Holder several times, but failed to mention Xavier Becerra.
If California politics was a 90’s sitcom, Becerra would be Screech from “Saved by the Bell” – he is part of the cast, but no one seems to cares.
TV Anchor Jairo Diaz Pedraza: Thank you very much Sergio Flores. Well we have the senator, the president [pro tempore] of the Senate, Kevin de León to answer these questions about the contract with Eric Holder for legal help in case of the possible… a possible trial against the Trump administration. Welcome Mr. León.
Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León: Thank you Jairo!
Jairo Diaz Pedraza: Tell us… tell us why hire Eric Holder?
Kevin de León: Well, I think that the candidacy of the President-elect is a threat, a real threat to our community, of the real interests of a great state like the great state of California. As the leader of the Senate, my role was to accept everything to defend the rights of our policies on the environment, climate change, health care, and the defense of the human rights of immigrants. I decided with my colleague, the Speaker of the Assembly, Anthony Rendon to contract the legal services of the ex-prosecutor of the country, the whole country of the United States under President Barack Obama, Mr. Eric Holder. To give us strategic legal tactics for… better said, about what you can and cannot do to an administrator who continues to threaten the values of a great state like the state of California.
Jairo Diaz Pedraza: How much will the state of California be paying Mr. Holder?
Kevin de León: It’s $25,000 a month. We split half of this bill, $12,500, from the Senate and $12,500 from the Assembly. But I think that…
Jairo Diaz Pedraza: For four years or for how long?
Kevin de León: For three months.
Jairo Diaz Pedraza: Three months.
Kevin de León: And then we are going to re-negotiate. I think that it’s a payment, or [rather] a small investment in comparison to what is at stake. We have billions of dollars hanging by a thread right now.
Jairo Diaz Pedraza: With the decision of President Trump?
Kevin de León: [Yes,] with the decision of President Trump.
Jairo Diaz Pedraza: For example, how much would you take away? How much are we talking about Senator?
Kevin de León: It can be billions; it can be twenty, forty, sixty billion dollars. It’s not known yet, for example…
Jairo Diaz Pedraza: In which sectors?
Kevin de León: In medical care, the ACA that is the health care coverage of President Obama. It’s $20 billion that we receive every year for the more than 6.5 million people that are already enrolled in this medical care program.
Jairo Diaz Pedraza: Sure.
Kevin de León: Of Obamacare. If the plan is to destroy and diminish the funds, as soon as possible, according to the statements of the Republicans in Congress as well as President-elect Trump, we will be left with a $20 billion dollar deficit in the budget in the state of California. That is true.
Jairo Diaz Pedraza: Senator, There are 800,000 undocumented people who obtained their driver’s licenses. The federal government could demand the government of California to hand over all that information of the undocumented [people] for them to be able to locate and deport them.
Kevin de León: Look, [let’s] make this very clear, because I was the one who negotiated the driver’s licenses for the more than 800,000 people that can drive their cars today without the fear, without the terror, of having their car confiscated by a tow truck. Or much worse, being deported for being undocumented. The files, the personal data, are at this moment frozen in the records of the state of California. So that means, in a nutshell, if the federal government comes and says that they want access to that data, we will not give it to them. Now or later, today or tomorrow, or the next day, we will not hand over that data because that is personal data that belongs to the state of California, not the federal government.
Jairo Diaz Pedraza: In 30 seconds Senator, a message for the undocumented [people] that are going to live these next four years with Donald Trump.
Kevin de León: Well, we have to organize, we have to do everything possible, and my role is to do everything possible to defend the interests, promoting the necessary polices. In defense matters in a given case, if there are raids, massive deportations, the local police will not cooperate with the federal government. [We will] intervene in the deportation[s]. If someone has a crime, for example: a violent criminal, a violent bandit, an assassin, a [drug] trafficker, that’s another thing. But the majority of our working people are hardworking people.
Jairo Diaz Pedraza: Thank you very much Senator Kevin de León for being here on Conexión California
Kevin de León: No Jairo, it’s a pleasure for me. Thank you very much.
Jairo Diaz Pedraza: Thank you very much. Let’s take a break.