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The last stand 

To hear conservatives tell it, California is under attack! It's an all-out invasion, people! The sky is falling, and it's raining little brown drug dealers, criminals, and rapists!

In two marathon meetings on April 17 and May 1, conservative Paso Robles residents took turns telling their City Council that illegal immigrants are a huge threat to legal residents' way of life. They want Paso to join a handful of other sphincter-clenched cities suing the state over its so-called "sanctuary state" law, SB 54, which basically says local law enforcement can't ask about people's immigration status, doesn't have to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in their hunt for undocumented immigrants, and doesn't have to turn over non-violent incarcerated immigrants.

If SB 54 seems reasonable to you, it's probably because you know the value of undocumented workers to the state's economy. You realize that demanding to see the "papers" of every non-white resident is racist and unconstitutional. And you believe Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) under President Donald Trump behaves draconically and is destroying families and deporting hardworking mothers such as Grover Beach resident and former motel cleaning woman Neofita Valerio-Silva, 47, who lived in the U.S. for more than two decades, effectively separating her from her three children, including a 16-year-old daughter—a cheerleader at Arroyo Grande High School.

"Go, heartless assholes!" (Insert pom-pom shaking)

Be honest, Paso: Do you need to stop SB 54 because you're under threat from the likes of Valerio-Silva? Is your xenophobia worth leaving a 16-year-old American girl without a legal guardian? Clap, clap, clap. You must be so proud, Defenders of Amerikkka.

Ty Lewis, Paso Robles' incoming police chief isn't a super big fan of SB 54, but as he told the SLO Tribune, "SB 54 is California state law" and refusing to follow it "would be ordering my department to violate state law, which would put my officers and myself in legal jeopardy."

Lewis also noted that immigration enforcement isn't in the purview of local law enforcement anyway: "The real question is, 'Has it made our jobs more difficult?' I don't know that it has. We still arrest people. We still work with the DA's Office when they're in jail to prosecute them. That other layer, that ancillary area of the immigration issue, isn't something that we've ever dealt with."

The Paso Robles City Council declined to take any action, but that didn't stop these fine upstanding nationalists from demanding that Lewis prepare a memo outlining all the areas he sees wrong with SB 54 so they can send it to Gov. Jerry Brown in their attempt to get the law suspended.

Yes, it was quite a meeting on May 1, which ironically fell on May Day, an international day honoring workers, for whom Paso's conservative citizens apparently have no respect if they happen to be undocumented in California doing all the crap jobs no one else will.

My favorite moment was when Mayor Steve Martin, noting all the citizens waiting to speak about the SB 54 agenda item, moved to bring it up first so as not on inconvenience those waiting. Instead, Martin was asked to table it until its scheduled time because a bunch of potential speakers were attending a debate between Republican candidates for the California governorship, John Cox and late arrival Assemblyman Travis Allen, being held concurrently in the Atascadero Lake Pavilion.

I thought the Paso City Council meeting was full of right-wing wingdings, but they didn't have anything on the Tea Party going on down in A-Town!

"We're going to make California great, truly great, once more," Cox promised, parroting Trump's "Make America Great Again" motto. Maybe he was just reading off all the Trump memorabilia in the audience. Cox would have been a big hit up in Paso. Of SB 54, he said, "It's an affront that the leadership of this state exalts illegal alien criminals above the law-abiding citizens of this state ... federal law pre-empts state law."

Hmm, I thought conservatives were all about state's rights. And aren't you running for governor of California, a sovereign state? Are you going to be singing the praises of federal law when there's another liberal Democrat in the White House?

Eventually Allen showed up, saying he was "stuck on California's roads," which he'll no doubt refuse to raise taxes to fix, making everyone in the state late, but I digress.

"Raise your hand if you thinks it's about time that our government puts our citizens first," Allen said, followed by more tasty red meat delights such as CalPERS "pensions are a ticking time bomb," defund the high speed rail, make California a shall-issue conceal carry weapons state, end Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom's ammunition registry, and "Jerry Brown lied!"

Allen also claimed California's water shortage is fake: "We're going to flood the Central Valley, every Californian is going to have a green lawn, and you're going to take a long shower once again."

Chicken in every pot!

Is it any wonder liberals think conservatives are living in a false reality? Get a load of the recent Coalition of Labor, Agriculture, and Business (COLAB) newsletter, which claims the SLO County Planning Department is infiltrated by the so-called "Deep State with leftists ties."

Good grief, has the entire right-wing movement gone down the proverbial rabbit hole?!? Reality's not open for debate, nutters! Δ

The Shredder just can't even. Send ideas and comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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