LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Organizers of a campaign to get California to leave the United States distanced themselves from comments made by an activist who suggested the state's middle class residents should leave in order to make room for "new wave of immigrants".
California Freedom Coalition's Shankar Singam made the remarks in an interview on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" when asked about what impact the exodus of middle class California residents might have on the Calexit movement.
"In regard to the middle class leaving, that's actually a good thing," Singam said. "We need these spots opened up for the new wave of immigrants to come up. It's what we do."
"We're exporting our middle class to the United States. You guys should be thanking us for that," he added.
According to Singam, the departure of California's middle class could also yield a whole new crop of Democratic-leaning states.
"Not only that, you know, when our middle class does move out to Texas or to Colorado, they're taking our values out to the United States and to Texas," he said. "And, soon enough, Texas will be a blue state."
YesCalifornia responded to the comments on social media, saying Singam "wasn't speaking for us."
While its current relationship with Singam is unclear, the YesCalifornia campaign tweeted out a video last December referring to Singam as a "#Calexit leader".
In the video, Singam stands in front of a "YesCalifornia.org" flag while conducting a Q&A with viewers on topics that included an apparent concern over the U.S. invading California in the event of a secession.
"If you're gonna invade us, go ahead and invade us," Singam says in the video. "You can shoot us, the stronger of us are gonna stand behind our weak and our poor and you can kill us first before you slaughter the weak and the poor."
The California Freedom Coalition in May submitted a new proposed ballot measure that would have the governor negotiate with the federal government to give California more autonomy as what supporters call a "nation within a nation".
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