You can always depend on the state legislature to throw itself in front of anything that threatens California. So thank goodness the legislature is moving to save California from the latest invasive species: students who come from out of state or out of the country to attend the University of California.

Legislation is now being advanced to cap the number out of state students at UC, and it’s about time. Their numbers have been growing for years, and people in Sacramento, including the state auditor, are convinced UC doesn’t have any good reason to do this. Oh, sure, the UC folks have some long-winded explanation about how decades of state disinvestment in public higher education and public pressure to keep tuition from going up anymore have forced them to do this, and that these out-of-state students bring in money that makes it possible to accommodate more California students. But whatever. I think we all know that any out of state student must be taking the place of an in-state student, and you can’t trust those UC folks anyway, with all their education.

But here’s what I don’t understand. Why the legislature is only putting a cap on out-of-state incursions when it comes to the UC? It seems like our lawmakers have lost their nerve and are failing to protect us Californians in other ways.

There are other areas where we need caps on out-of-state folks coming to California. For example:

  1. Professors and administrators. Keeping out those out-of-state students isn’t enough. There are also way too many out-of-state professors and administrators being hired at our public universities, taking jobs that could otherwise go to Californians. We need a hard cap on keeping these foreigners from infecting our classrooms and lecture halls.
  2. Have you tried to go to Disneyland lately? It’s full of out of state and foreign tourists. Sometimes they have to close the park early. The national parks and the Golden Gate Bridge are just as bad. And if you’re a California trying to get a hotel, you’re competing for limited space with all these tourists.Shouldn’t California attractions put Californians first? It’s about time the legislature enacted a cap on out-of-state tourists to guarantee priority to those of us who pay the taxes for the roads and airports those visitors use.
  1. Out of state vehicles. Isn’t traffic bad enough without all those trucks and cars with out-of-state license plates on the streets? Yes, some of that is commerce going to and from our ports, but shouldn’t those cars be licensed here, with California drivers getting the revenue.Instead of just letting anyone use the roads, only California drivers with California license plates should be guaranteed a spot on the roads. The out-of-staters should be capped by a new state law that would also provide for tracking of these out of staters. Let’s put California drivers first.
  1. Imported goods. With Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders campaigning in the state, this would be as good a time as any for the legislature to get serious about limiting all those imported goods that clog our stores, filling space that should be used for California-made items. Yes, we’d miss out on a lot of things and parts essential to goods, but in time, California could find ways to make replacements itself.

And yes, this could hurt our ports and logistics industries, but I ask you: are we serious about putting Californians first or not?

And while we’re at it, why not a cap on all that foreign investment flowing into our companies? Shouldn’t there be room for California’s investors – our pension funds, our venture capitalists, our banks – to have the priority at investments here? A legislative cap could guarantee first look to California investment—before foreign or out of state investment could be considered. Sure, it might be complicated to say what’s California money and what’s out of state money in this era of globalized capital flows, but plenty of stuff in California is complicated.

Yes, I know there are some traditionalists out there who see things that come to California – goods, dollars, tourists, and students – as good things. They think artificial barriers and caps leave us all poorer. But those people aren’t as careful as our legislature is to put Californians first.