VICE: This Son of Immigrants Has Sued Trump 35 Times and Counting

Monday, June 4, 2018
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Here are excerpts from a profile piece that ran this morning of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, ICYMI:

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has never met Donald Trump in person. When the president visited California earlier this year, he bypassed the state’s capital altogether, instead spending much of his 22-hour trip looking at prototypes for his proposed border wall. Becerra took the opportunity to call him out on Twitter: “@realdonaldtrump, only took ~30 lawsuits to visit world’s 6th largest economy?” he wrote, adding, “Not looking to pick fight but if CA values threatened, ready.”

He has a funny way of not picking a fight. Since Trump’s inauguration, Becerra has filed 35 lawsuits on behalf of his state against the federal government on issues ranging from healthcare to immigration to net neutrality to loan forgiveness for students defrauded by their schools. That’s including two new suits he filed late last week against the EPA over its suspension of protections for agricultural workers and failure to enforce a methane landfill regulation. By the time you finish reading this paragraph, he may have already filed another.

“No one should be surprised,” Becerra told me of the number of lawsuits he’s filed. “We’re going to do everything we can to defend California’s values. These days, it also means protecting those values against attacks from wherever they may come, including Washington, DC.”

Since Trump’s March visit, California has moved up in the rankings to be the world’s fifth-largest economy, ahead of the UK, according to the latest federal data. Becerra sees much of his job as defending the policies that got California there.

“To the degree that the Trump manifesto is roll back our progress whether it’s our clean car standards, the way we treat immigrants, or moving towards universal health care, you’re definitely on the opposite side of Donald Trump,” he said. “But I look at that as not because we just don’t want to be where Donald Trump is. We look at it as something that is necessary to defend everything we’ve done.”

His recent legal actions include leading 16 states in suing the Trump administration over a proposed rollback of fuel economy standards challenging the administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, arguing the move is unconstitutional and will result in an inaccurate count, according to the complaint.

Becerra’s father was born in the US and grew up in Mexico. His mother is from Guadalajara, and came to the US when she was 18, right after they married. Becerra, who is 60, talks about the early days when his immigrant parents lived in California and restaurants had signs that read, “No dogs or Mexicans allowed.”

“I’ve never heard my dad utter anything but proud things about this country and what it’s done for him and his family,” Becerra told me. “Yet as a young man he couldn’t benefit from his status as a US citizen. He couldn’t eat at a restaurant, some of the very food that he had harvested with his hands.”

Becerra holds his parents up as an example of what’s possible when doors are open to immigrants. “My parents—a man with about a sixth-grade education who married a woman he brought from Mexico when she was 18—they figured out a way to buy a house, send their kids to college or to the military service, and now they live in dignity in retirement.” They live next door to the home in Sacramento Becerra shares with his wife and three children. “You give people that sense of hope that they can do that and they’ll take care of the rest,” he said. “That, to me, is the American Dream.”

Read the rest of the article here.

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