At a boisterous gathering outside the state Senate chamber Thursday, Democratic senators touted a resolution to rebuke Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump for his recent comments about immigrants.
The resolution, which would not have the force of law and has not been put to a vote in the Legislature, excoriates Trump for calling Mexican immigrants rapists and drug traffickers. It also denounces Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), another presidential contender who has come to Trump's defense.
"The state of California will not stand for this type of racist rhetoric and racist behavior," said Sen. Isadore Hall III (D-Compton), author of the resolution. "Today we stand and call upon the state of California to dump Trump."
The measure asks the state to divest from, and otherwise cut business ties with, Trump-affiliated entities. It encourages private companies and individuals to do the same.
Hall said his office has made inquiries with the state's major pension funds, CalPERS and CalSTRS, as well as the agency that oversees state purchasing, to explore ways to end economic partnerships with the real estate magnate.
At a news conference that had the feel of a campaign rally, the lawmakers were flanked by mostly visiting Latino residents from Los Angeles. Each of the officials' denunciations of Trump elicited loud cheers from the crowd.
Some lawmakers spoke in personal terms. Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) held a photo of his immigrant parents as he addressed the crowd, and Senate leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) said that as a son of an immigrant mother he was insulted by Trump's remarks.
"His vitriolic language denigrates the experiences of my family," De León said.
Senate Republican leader Bob Huff (R-San Dimas) issued a statement saying that Trump's comments were "offensive" but that the resolution, SR 39, was unnecessary.
"Using state resources to protest the inappropriate statements from politicians on either side of the aisle or around the country is a waste of taxpayer dollars and only draws attention to those politicians who are trying to grab headlines," Huff said.