As part of his immigration plan, President Donald Trump wants to block federal spending from cities and other local governments that prohibit law enforcement from cooperating with Immigration Customs Enforcement, or ICE.
Officials for these so-called 'sanctuary' jurisdictions argue police and sheriff's departments should not use local resources to enforce federal immigration policy. President Trump and his supporters say these 'sanctuary cities' harbor criminals, allowing them to be free from persecution and deportation.
You've probably heard, lawmakers in Sacramento are preparing to fight with D.C. over many policies they don't see eye-to-eye on with the Trump administration -- including immigration enforcement.
The Legislature is even considering a senate bill that would make California the country's first 'sanctuary state.'
Sen. Leader Kevin de Leon said his bill, SB 54, would provide undocumented immigrants with protection unlike any other state in the country.
But what if federal dollars are cut from the entire state? Could California lawmakers seek fiscal retaliation?
California: The "Donor State"
In an interview with NPR, California's new Attorney General Xavier Becerra suggested the state could leverage its "donor state" power against the federal Treasury.
Being a "donor state" means California provides more in tax revenue to the federal government than it receives in federal spending.
Attorney General Becerra said:
And so we're going to fight where we need to to make sure that we get the resources that we provided to the federal Treasury.
"The notion that California can simply ignore law is quite silly," said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. "A lot of this discussion is, quite frankly, political posturing and doesn't make a lot of sense in the real world."
California does receive less in federal dollars than most states. According to a Pew Charitable Trusts report, in the 2013-2014 fiscal year the Golden State ranked 41st (out of 50 states and the District of Columbia) on federal spending per person, in part, due to its young population.
The state's nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office tabbed the total amount for annual federal expenditures in California at around $368 billion, or about $9,500 per person.
Around 77 percent of those expenditures go directly to peoples' income-support or retirement benefits, private entities (like businesses and non-profit organizations) and universities -- both public and private. The state government gets about 21 percent of federal expenditures.
State government uses most of those federal dollars to provide health insurance to low-income Californians through its Medi-Cal program. In his State of the State address, Gov. Jerry Brown said losing federal support for the state's health care programs would account for tens of billion of dollars.
"Were any of that to be taken away," the governor said, "our state budget would be directly affected, possibly devastated."
Coupal pointed out that most of the money that goes to the federal government from California comes from the personal income tax, which people pay on an individual basis.
There's also all of the federally-owned land in the State of California. "What is California gonna do? Is it going to purchase Yosemite National Park? Which belongs to the federal government. How are they going to assert control over that?" Coupal asked.
Another question: If California severs its relationship with the federal government, what armed forces would protect our borders from a possible invasion?
"At the end of the day," Coupal said, "California has very little leverage against the federal government."