A history teacher at Mountain View High School has been put on leave after comparing President-elect Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler. (Getty Images)
Makeda Easter and Dakota Smith
November 11, 2016 – 07:00 p.m.
California is quickly becoming a battleground for immigration policy as a cross-section of leaders across the state vowed to fight any plans by President-elect Donald Trump to deport thousands of people in the U.S. illegally.
Trump said during the presidential campaign that he’ll build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and deport people in the country illegally. He is expected to unwind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an initiative by President Obama that protects immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
California has some of the nation’s most liberal policies when it comes to handling immigrants here illegally. The state has allowed them to get driver’s licenses, health coverage for children and in-state tuition. Institutions like churches also support immigrants.
But the Golden State could be on a collision course with Trump if he pushes hard-line immigration policies enthusiastically backed by many of his supporters.
Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez led an interfaith prayer service Thursday night in which he reassured immigrants in the country illegally that the church would continue supporting them.
“In the past couple days since the election … we have children in our schools who are scared,” Gomez told the congregation. “They think the government is going to come and deport their parents.”
At a hastily convened meeting Friday at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti warned that the city will question Trump’s decisions on immigration.
“If the first day, as president, we see something that is hostile to our people, hostile to our city, bad for our economy, bad for our security, we will speak up, speak out, act up and act out,” Garcetti said.
The mayor also said police would continue to enforce Special Order 40, which bars officers from asking people about their immigration status.
Kamala Harris, in her first appearance since winning her U.S. Senate race, also held an event Thursday at CHIRLA to announce her support for immigrants and criticize Trump’s plan for a U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Several days of street demonstrations in Los Angeles and other cities have followed Trump’s election, with protesters denouncing the Republican’s views on issues such as immigration. About 200 people were arrested Thursday night in downtown Los Angeles, according to LAPD Officer Tony Im.
Another anti-Trump protest is planned Saturday for MacArthur Park.
Of the 742,000 people across the country protected under DACA, about 200,000 are in Los Angeles County, according to the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.
Angelica Salas, CHIRLA’s executive director, said her office is being inundated with requests from immigrants about their status.
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