Have you ever been really bored in a long meeting, never-ending church sermon or a romantic-comedy movie and you see a thread sticking out of your shirt? It’s a very short thread, maybe half an inch long. Yes, you could get a pair of scissors and trim that pesky little thread, but, why bother? You think you could just pull it out and your problem is solved. So, you grab hold of it and start pulling. Now, you have it out an inch out and its still going. No matter. Just keep pulling. It will probably end any moment, and your shirt will be good as new. Well, that is odd. You are now out 5 inches and still no end in sight. You could just break it off now but that would mean you gave up. And you never give up. That thread will not beat you. Keep pulling. At a foot, you notice something strange. You notice a draft at the front of your shirt. Looking down, you discover that the front of your shirt is completely open. The seam that was held together by stitching consisting of thread was now missing. The same thread that is now in your hand. Unknowingly, you destroyed your shirt. I’m no tailor, but things in the Golden State appear very similar to that shirt. California Senate Leader Kevin de Leon and Governor Jerry Brown have given us a shirt with a thread sticking out. The shirt is California and the thread is sanctuary state status. Brown and de Leon appear to have humanitarian goals in hindering federal law enforcement officials from doing their job. The claim: they are “protecting families” by making us a sanctuary state. Frankly, I have a bit of difficulty understanding how families are protected by stopping local law enforcement from cooperating with ICE and other federal units. If our local sheriff’s have a criminal in jail and ICE asks to pick the guy up, keeping him off the streets, aren’t families safer? Why would we want that bad guy protected? Brown and de Leon do not seem to have an answer. Back to the thread. By making California a sanctuary state, this makes our state law in direct opposition to federal law. Sacramento has thumbed its nose at Washington and has said, in essence, state law is supreme. Bad news. Back in the 1860s, we had a little issue that answered that question once and for all.Some people think the Civil War was only fought over slavery. To be sure, that was one of the issues. But one of the other matters was the question of state versus federal law. Resoundingly, the right of the United States government to make and enforce law was created and affirmed. States may not make law that directly contradicts federal law. This applies very clearly in the area of immigration. As many of you may know, the Trump Administration has filed a lawsuit against the state of California. All of Governor Brown’s blustering in the media aside, the Feds will win. Bank on it. But, that isn’t the thread. The real thread is the recent action by the city of Los Alamitos whose city council voted to “opt out” of the state’s sanctuary state policy. Essentially, Los Alamitos voted to tell Sacramento to “go pound sand.” The thread is now out an inch. I bet that de Leon and Brown never considered this possibility. By actively flaunting federal law, these state leaders have created the precedent that lower authorities can interfere with the enforcement of higher authority. The implications are stunning. If individual counties and cities can override state law as they see fit, the possibility of chaos ensuing is very high. And here is a tidbit for Brown and de Leon: our commerce and society depend on organized, clear and structured rules (laws). This goes far beyond immigration issues. Currently, California has made marijuana use legal in opposition to federal law. What happens if individual counties and cities enforce bans on marijuana in opposition to the state? This could create a highly confusing “checkerboard effect” where cannabis use is legal/illegal depending on what street you are standing on. What happens if pot-loving counties and cities insist that banks service the businesses that are in the cannabis industry? Banks are federally regulated and could be subjected to fines or worse if they deal with pot businesses. What does a bank do? Disobey the Feds? Disobey the locals? Leave the area completely? What a mess. Brown and de Leon have failed to lead California in a sensible and law-abiding manner. The thread is being pulled. Can we stop this before the seam is completely ruined? Steve Lunetta is a resident of Santa Clarita and failed Mrs. Carr’s home econ class in 6th grade. Sewing is not his forte. He can be reached at email@example.com.