What Do California’s Pro-Illegal Alien Laws Portend for the Country?

Joel Kotkin, writing in the Daily Beast on October 5, brought together statistical data on California that offer a dire warning for the country if the old adage is true that “as goes California, so goes the nation.” Among the current rankings achieved by California is #1 in income inequality. Kotkin noted that the level of inequality in the state is comparable to that in the Dominican Republic and, for the first time, the middle class is a minority in the state. California is also #1 in the share of residents living in poverty. Kotkin added that California has a third of all welfare recipients in the nation and three times the national average. That compares with its population being one-eighth of the nation’s total residents (and its foreign-born population is one-fourth of the nation’s total.)

These data represent a dramatic change for the state from the 1980s, when Kotkin notes, “…roughly 60 percent of the population was considered middle class.” Census data show the foreign-born population of California in 1980 was 15.1 percent – about half of what it is now and only slightly higher than the current level for the country.

This is the background against which to judge the wisdom of state lawmakers having just adopted new laws that are sure to make illegal aliens feel more welcome, e.g., issuing driver’s licenses without regard to legal status and acceding to the demands of defenders of illegal aliens by restricting the ability of state and local law enforcement officials to honor federal detainer requests for illegal aliens arrested in California.

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).


  1. avatar

    Since California is also catering to illegal aliens, what about the legal citizens of the State? Is anyone paying attention to the exit rate?

  2. avatar

    California and the Wall Street Demonstrators Have One Thing in Common

    They want a vibrant economy with jobs and good pay; but conpletely ignore overpopulation, like amnesty, as the CHIEF culprit of over supplying a stagnant labor pool the last 5 years; creating undo competition for what scarce jobs still exist…..thus driving wages, possible healthcare benefits and work week lengths down in the pits.

  3. avatar

    Between FAIR & CAPS & IMMIGRATION REFORM.COM and so many other org’s working here in CA,…..Why are we unable to recall or otherwise REMOVE JERRY BROWN FROM OFFICE.???….Gray Davis was removed for much less than what Brown has done, & is planning to do. The TRUST ACT..?!?!.. Is ANYONE paying attention..?!?…
    Is there no one working toward ridding us of Jerry Brown..?.. This pathetic excuse for a governor simply needs to be kicked out of governor’s office.

  4. avatar

    Absolute truth. The propaganda is that immigration is “good for the economy”, but California continues to sink further into third world status. These are the facts that the media will not touch. California congratulates itself for it’s “balanced budget” this year, but as usual it was achieved with spending cuts and raising taxes. Their personal income tax rates are now the highest in the country. You can only go to that well so many times before it runs dry.