Newsletter: Essential California: Legal scholars dismiss Trump’s plan to challenge citizenship at birth

President Trump speaks with reporters Oct. 27 before departing for a rally in Murphysboro, Ill.
(Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty Images)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Wednesday, Oct. 31, and here are all the spooky happenings across California on Halloween:


President Trump, who has been campaigning intensely against immigration ahead of next week’s elections, said in a television interview that he is “in the process” of preparing an executive order to end the right to citizenship for children born in the United States to parents who are here illegally. “It’ll happen,” he said in an interview with Axios scheduled to air on HBO this weekend. Trump did not lay out specifics, including a timeline, making his plans uncertain. In the past, he has promised to take up some issues in short order and then failed to do so. At other times, his public comments foretell actual policy plans. Trump’s words have been especially unreliable in the run-up to the midterm elections, promising, for example, that Congress would approve a new tax cut before next week’s election, even though the House and Senate are not in session. Los Angeles Times


Plus: Legal scholars were quick to dismiss Trump’s plan to reject “birthright citizenship” by executive order as more of a political stunt than a serious challenge. Los Angeles Times

The frightening fight over Prop. 10

For some of California’s largest real estate investors, the fight over the rent control initiative Proposition 10 goes beyond the state’s borders. They’ve opened their wallets to prove it. Eight of California’s top owners of apartment buildings and their related business entities have donated nearly half the $74 million raised to defeat Proposition 10, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis of state campaign finance data. Many of the landlords are publicly traded real estate investment companies with portfolios that span across the country. In earnings calls and investor conferences over the past year, company executives have spent much of their time reassuring Wall Street they’re doing everything they can to defeat Proposition 10. Los Angeles Times

A haunted housing market

A chill is settling over the once white-hot Southern California housing market. Listings are up. Sales are falling. Price reductions are becoming more common. The latest evidence came Tuesday when CoreLogic released its monthly market report. Sales across the region plummeted nearly 18% in September compared with a year earlier, the largest drop in almost eight years. The median home price in the six-county region rose 3.6% to $523,000, the smallest rise in more than three years. Los Angeles Times

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A death in prison: James J. “Whitey” Bulger Jr., the notorious Boston mobster-turned-fugitive found in Santa Monica, died Tuesday at age 89. Los Angeles Times

Larger crisis averted: The Florida man accused of sending bombs to top Democrats, Trump administration critics and the media across the United States kept lists and other information that suggest he had more than 100 potential targets for his campaign of terror, including at least 15 in the Los Angeles region. Los Angeles Times

Big and tall: A Westside nonprofit has sued the city of Los Angeles, seeking to overturn a plan that would allow the construction of up to 6,000 new apartment and condominium units within a half-mile of five Metro Expo Line stations. Los Angeles Times

What gives? What’s the deal with the city’s 72-hour parking law? NBC 4

Check out The Times’ “Arrive Early, Leave Late” podcast. This week’s topics: the World Series, the state of the Dodgers and the hazards of working in a locker room.


In court: A Los Angeles immigration activist whose arrest last year sparked protests and allegations of misconduct against federal law enforcement officials is now suing the Department of Homeland Security, claiming her application for protection from deportation as a “Dreamer” was unfairly rejected on the basis of her activism. Los Angeles Times

A stunt? “DHS agents in riot gear close U.S.-Mexico border for a caravan that’s 1,500 miles away.” The Daily Beast


Coming next Tuesday! Keep an eye on California’s down-ballot races — they could shape the state’s politics and policy for years to come. Los Angeles Times

Plus: In key California House races, Republicans are turning out early and big. San Francisco Chronicle

Stating the obvious: Seeking tens of millions of dollars in state funding to combat homelessness, L.A. County leaders on Tuesday declared a shelter crisis in unincorporated parts of the county. Los Angeles Times

Future committee chairwoman? Why Republicans actually like Rep. Maxine Waters. Politico

LOL: “Barbra Streisand can’t get Trump out of her head. So she sang about him.” New York Times


The big picture: Anti-Semitic incidents are surging across the U.S. Here are the numbers. Los Angeles Times

Gruesome discovery: Police launched a homicide investigation early Tuesday after a body was found in a trash bin at a condominium complex in Anaheim. Los Angeles Times

Who’s on first? Federal prosecutors have charged four neo-Nazis from Orange County, but the local district attorney has only charged one of their victims. Capital & Main


Fire update: Southern California Edison on Tuesday said its electrical equipment likely sparked at least one starting point of the massive Thomas fire that ravaged Ventura and Santa Barbara counties late last year. Los Angeles Times

A wild one: What brought more than 1,000 octopuses to nurse their eggs in Monterey Bay? Los Angeles Times


French Laundry meets foosball: One of the best chefs in Los Angeles just opened a sports bar next to the LAFC stadium. Los Angeles Times

Hello, Los Angeles! Former First Lady Michelle Obama is billing her “Becoming” book tour as “an intimate conversation” with her — at least as intimate as you can get in a stadium setting like the Forum in Inglewood. Los Angeles Times

Dieting 2.0: How Silicon Valley makes diet practices seem new with the language of technology. The Atlantic

Yum: Check out Tacos Don Goyo in Downey. L.A. Taco


Los Angeles area: sunny, 71, Tuesday; sunny, 74, Wednesday. San Diego: sunny, 76, Wednesday; partly cloudy, 76, Thursday. San Francisco area: partly cloudy, 70, Wednesday; partly cloudy, 69, Thursday. San Jose: partly cloudy, 78, Wednesday; partly cloudy, 80, Thursday. Sacramento: partly cloudy, 80, Wednesday; partly cloudy, 84, Thursday. More weather is here.


Today’s California memory comes from Francesca Friedenberg:

“I moved to California in 1952 and grew up in the San Fernando Valley. My favorite memories are of spending summer days on the beautiful beaches, and warm summer evenings at Disneyland. I loved taking trips up the scenic coast to Big Sur and Carmel, or traveling south to spend weekends in San Diego, where visiting the world-famous zoo was always a must. California offers something for everyone. I’ve now retired to Florida but cherish my memories of the Golden State!”

If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. Send us an email to let us know what you love or fondly remember about our state. (Please keep your story to 100 words.)

Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints and ideas to Benjamin Oreskes and Shelby Grad. Also follow them on Twitter @boreskes and @shelbygrad.