The new year not only brought the state of California legal recreational use of cannabis — it also brought with it a new highway sign, one that may be upsetting to proponents of the state’s controversial sanctuary status.
“Official Sanctuary State,” reads an unofficial highway marker posted on multiple welcome signs throughout the state. “Felons, Illegals and MS13 Welcome! Democrats Need The Votes!”
A similar sign was posted in Malibu in April 2017, after the beachside town declared itself a sanctuary city.
Malibu Councilwoman Laura Rosenthal told the Los Angeles Times in April, that the display “was not an official city sign.”
“It’s down, and it’s very disheartening that anyone would put up such an ugly sign,” she added. “Whoever did this spent some time on it.”
While it is unclear who is the mastermind behind the prank, the newly posted signs are likely a response to Gov. Jerry Brown’s decision to sign into law a bill deeming California a “sanctuary state.”
The bill, which went into effect on Jan. 1, bans California police “from asking people about their immigration status or participating in federal immigration enforcement activities in most cases,” according to Fox News.
“These are uncertain times for undocumented Californians and their families, and this bill strikes a balance that will protect public safety, while bringing a measure of comfort to those families who are now living in fear everyday,” Brown said the day he signed the bill, the U.K. Daily Mail reported.
The decision is significant as the state is home to an estimated 2.3 million illegal immigrants, and was also the site where 32-year-old Kate Steinle was fatally wounded by an illegal immigrant who had been deported from the state five times before the incident occurred.
As reported by The Western Journal, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was acquitted in the 2015 murder of Steinle in November. Steinle was killed after she was struck by a bullet that ricocheted off a San Francisco pier.
Garcia Zarate fired that bullet, however, prosecutors failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he had done so with murderous intent. The decision didn’t sit well with many who believed that the incident could have been avoided had the state not been so lax about letting an illegal immigrant back in after he had been deported multiple times.
“This is a person who had been deported five times — he knew about San Francisco’s sanctuary policies. This is a person that never should have been on that pier, and Kate Steinle would still be alive,” Justice Department spokesperson Sarah Isgur Flores told “Fox & Friends” in December.
In response to the verdict, President Donald Trump also provided his criticisms of the “disgraceful” end to the Steinle murder trial.
“A disgraceful verdict in the Kate Steinle case!” Trump wrote. “No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration.”
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