Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. Billionaires laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

Today, we ask you to support our nonprofit, independent journalism because we are not impressed by billionaires flying into space, their corporations despoiling our health and planet, or their vast fortunes safely concealed in tax havens across the globe. We are not laughing.

We are hard at work producing journalism for the common good. With our Fall Campaign underway, please support this mission today. We cannot do it without you.

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

Californians demonstrated in favor of the California Values Act, which offers protections for undocumented immigrants in the state. (@SWANactivists/Twitter)

Rejecting Trump Agenda, Immigrant Protections Bill Passes in California

The California Values Act serves as a strong antidote to the Trump administration's anti-immigrant agenda, supporters say

Julia Conley

Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign the California Values Act, passed by lawmakers Saturday, which would make the state a "sanctuary state" with new protections for undocumented immigrants.

The 27-11 vote, along party lines, was reached after lengthy negotiations. But immigrant rights groups applauded the final bill, noting that it represented a strong rebuke of President Donald Trump’s anti-immigration agenda, including the Justice Department's threats to withhold law enforcement grants from sanctuary cities.

"This was a hard-fought effort but the end product was worth the fight," said Jennie Pasquarella, Immigrants' Rights Director with the ACLU of California. "With SB 54, California will meaningfully improve state law to keep families together and communities whole—and not a moment too soon as the Trump administration continues its draconian and indiscriminate crackdown on immigrants."

Under the law, state and local law enforcement officers will not be permitted to ask about a person's immigration status during an arrest or police stop, and their communication with federal immigration authorities will be limited.

The bill also gives protections to inmates who are immigrants, allowing them to reduce their sentences by completing educational or rehabilitation programs, and ensures that schools, hospitals, libraries, and courthouses remain safe spaces for undocumented immigrants.

The original proposal by Democratic state senator Kevin De Leon would have also prohibited state and local police from reporting undocumented immigrants to federal authorities unless they had committed violent or serious crimes.

The bill that is headed to Brown’s desk allows communication with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regarding anyone who has committed any of the 800 crimes listed in the California Trust Law, which includes some misdemeanors and non-violent crimes. ICE agents will also still be able to enter county jails.

Even after the negotiations, the bill is the most ambitious of its kind; in 1987 Oregon passed a law barring state and local officers from detaining anyone solely on immigration charges, and state lawmakers have proposed strengthening that law this year with amendments similar to the measures introduced in California.

Proponents of the California Values Act cited residents' fear of law enforcement amid the looming threat of deportation as a vital reason to pass the bill.

"Now, more than ever, it is imperative that California law clearly distinguish state and local law enforcement officers from federal deportation agents," said Pasquarella. "At a time when police data indicates that domestic violence and sexual assault reporting is plummeting among Latinos, California has a moral obligation to ensure law enforcement agents treat everyone fairly, no matter their background, what they look like, or where they are born."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'The Facebook Papers' Spur More Calls to 'Break Them Up!'

Other critics are demanding a "full, independent, outside investigation" of the tech titan as whistleblower Frances Haugen testifies to the U.K. Parliament.

Jessica Corbett ·


Critics See Menendez Villainy Equal to Sinema's on Medicare Drug Pricing Fight

"It's discouraging to see Sen. Menendez is on the wrong side of this fight rather than leading the charge for more affordable, accessible healthcare for all."

Brett Wilkins ·


Humanity 'Way Off Track': WMO Says Atmospheric Carbon at Level Unseen in 3 Million Years

The new report has "a stark, scientific message for climate change negotiators at COP 26," said the head of the World Meteorological Organization.

Andrea Germanos ·


Any Lawmaker Involved in Planning Jan. 6 Insurrection 'Must Be Expelled,' Says AOC

Organizers of the deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol say that several congressional Republicans and White House officials helped plan former President Donald Trump's coup attempt.

Kenny Stancil ·


Profits Before People: 'The Facebook Papers' Expose Tech Giant Greed

"This industry is rotten at its core," said one critic, "and the clearest proof of that is what it's doing to our children."

Jon Queally ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo