Two San Jose Council Members Leave Republican Party Over Trump’s Immigration Policy

President Donald Trump’s draconian family separation immigration policy has prompted some South Bay leaders to cut ties with the Republican Party.

San Jose Council members Dev Davis and Johnny Khamis as well as former Assemblyman Jim Cunneen announced their departure on Monday, saying they plan to re-register under “no party preference.”

Davis and Khamis cited the president’s separation policy as one that went way beyond the bounds of Republican values. Khamis, who fled Lebanon as a child when the country was in war, called it “the last straw” in a string of controversial actions by Trump.

“I am not leaving the party, the Republican party has left me,” he told reporters.

Davis, too, said that after Trump began removing kids from their families, she “could no longer wait for national Republican leaders to speak up.”

“The Republican Party I joined recognized the importance of families,” Davis said. “I still hold those values, but the Republican Party no longer does.”

“This is Trumpism,” added Cunneen who went on to say that his disapproval also extended to the Trump tax cuts, trade tariffs and foreign policy missteps.

The decision by Khamis and Davis to renounce their party affiliation brings the number of Republicans on the San Jose council from three—the most since the city began doing district elections in 1980—to just one, Councilman Lan Diep.

The council members’ outrage reflected the reaction of numerous other local leaders.

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group, which represents 360 companies, wrote a letter to Trump on June 20 demanding an end to his new “zero tolerance” policy separating children from their families at the border. The missive came before the president signed an executive order later that day halting the widely criticized practice.

“Silicon Valley and much of America’s innovation economy has been built through the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit of courageous immigrants and refugees,” Silicon Valley Leadership Group CEO Carl Guardino wrote in the rebuke.

The letter noted that the group will continue to lobby Congress for immigration reform—one that would take into account the future of Dreamers and the H1-B Visa program now under a crackdown by the Trump administration.

Meanwhile, a Facebook fundraiser to help reunite the separated families has raised over $18 million from about 488,000 contributors including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, making it the largest donation drive ever been organized on the social media platform.

Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO called the stories and images being circulated “gut-wrenching” and urged the government to address immigration in a “more humane way.”

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Oakland) for California took to Twitter to ask U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to resign for allowing these separations to occur under her watch.

She called these actions “human rights abuse” in a tweet noting that thousands of children that have already been taken away from their families.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo agreed, calling the actions “criminal.”

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) lamented how far the United States has strayed from its role of representing “hope” and “opportunity” to immigrants worldwide.


  1. Political careerists who concluded that if they wanted a career in local politics, they had to not let principles get in the way.

    Khamis is a decent guy, but I think the reality is that he has reached his maximum potential. Sorry Johnny, but there is no more upside for you, and if voters really do want “Democrat values”, well, there are many better choices than you.

    Enjoy your retirement from politics. Maybe, with luck, you’ll be selected for a place in the Museum of Go Along to Get Along Politicians.

  2. Maybe Khamis has been “suggested” for an emolumented position on the California Commission for Something of Other.

    We’ll be watching.

  3. Dev Davis you’re not that important. Quit trying to throw yourself into controversy, you’ve done nothing meaningful for the city besides being a pathetic puppet.

  4. Indeed, very pathetic on both their parts. They have have terminated their political careers in order to appease those who will never accept them, and they ave alienated those who had already accepted them. Foolish.

  5. While I don’t know the two San Jose council members personally, I’ve known Jim Cunneen for ~20 years and he is a person of high principles and personal integrity. The Republican Party would be SO much better off with folks like Cunneen.

    • > You can’t say San Jose and Republican in the same sentence without making me laugh out loud.

      Thousands of Democrat children lie awake in the beds at night fearful that the Republican hobgoblins are going to get them.

      Whether Republicans are real are not doesn’t make much difference. Democrats BELIEVE they’re real and and that they cause global warming.insufficient taxes.

  6. Good grief! Is there nothing these career politicians will do for a headline?
    How pathetic! Maybe they should just register as nihilists and save themselves from committing to any issue or important matter.

    • I haven’t noticed any of the three to be “career politicians.” What is your definition of that term? The 2 Councilmembers came out the public sector & Jim Cunneen has worked in the public sector and served the CA State Assembly; and served in the offices of elected officials before that.

  7. I used to have nightmares about RINO’s chasing me home at night. But now that they are becoming extinct in in America I, sleep much better ! Good by RINO’s

  8. > “This is Trumpism,” added Cunneen who went on to say that his disapproval also extended to the Trump tax cuts, trade tariffs and foreign policy missteps.

    I think Cunneen is lying about “leaving” the Republican Party.

    More likely, he was grabbed by the collar and the seat of his pants and thrown out and told to never come back.

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