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By Will Racke
Companies that contract to build President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall might soon have a tough time doing business in California, if state and municipal lawmakers have their way.
Legislators in the statehouse and several major cities have proposed laws that would prohibit their governments from hiring firms that have done work on the wall, VICE News reported. A bill from two San Francisco City Supervisors goes a step further, proposing to cut ties with construction companies that so much as bid on the project, regardless of whether not they actually win a federal contract. (RELATED: Trump Asks Congress For $999 Million to Start Building the Border Wall)
The San Francisco ordinance, introduced Tuesday by supervisors Hillary Ronen and Aaron Peskin, is one of several laws that have been proposed in California amid calls by activists and Democratic lawmakers to defend illegal immigrants from the Trump administration’s stepped-up deportation enforcement. Ronen tweeted Tuesday that her bill is not just a “symbolic protest” but concrete action to protect San Francisco’s “deepest values.”
Time to move beyond symbolic protest to protect our deepest values. Today I'm introducing legislation that would… https://t.co/c482AlYbNq
— Hillary Ronen (@HillaryRonen) March 21, 2017
A day before Ronen’s proposal, California Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting, introduced a bill that would force the state’s pension funds to divest from companies that are hired to work on the border wall. Ting, an Asian-American, invoked his immigrant heritage to bash the concept of a wall to keep unauthorized people from crossing the border. (RELATED: Trump Admin Releases Details About Border Wall)
“Californians build bridges not walls. This is a wall of shame and we don’t want any part of it,” Ting said in a written statement. “Immigrant stories are the history of America and this is a nightmare.”
Much of the resistance to Trump’s proposed wall is coming from the Bay Area. In addition to measures from Ronen and Ting, the Berkeley City Council unanimously passed a resolution last week encouraging the city divest from any company working on the wall, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
San Francisco has been at the center of the national debate over illegal immigration, public safety, and so-called sanctuary city policies, which discourage local authorities from cooperating with federal detention and removal proceedings.
In 2015, an illegal immigrant murdered Kate Steinle as she was walking along the San Francisco Pier. Steinle’s family later sued Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the former San Francisco sheriff for failing to follow established laws and procedures they say would have kept Steinle’s killer in detention.
Trump repeatedly invoked the Steinle incident during the presidential campaign, connecting her death to San Francisco’s sanctuary city policy.