In this YouTube video, in an interview with Gavin Newsom, starting at about 8:50, he lists some statistics painting California as a wonderful place with a thriving economy and tax rebates. He is then asked about net population change, specifically between California and Texas. He replies that California has lost about 182 thousand people.

He then goes on to say there are two studies of this population loss that have been done recently and that they give the primary reason as Trump administration visa policies.

What is Newsom saying about the Trump visa policy? How is he claiming that this produced net migration out of California?

  • 2
    California's population appears to have increased by 2 million from 2010 to 2020. Is this statement even true?
    – Obie 2.0
    Sep 23, 2022 at 0:03
  • @Obie2.0 I recall recent emigration from CA being cited as one reason that it was losing a seat in the House and Texas gained two. And I'm fairly sure the studies OP's indirect quote refers to showed that there was suppressed immigration to CA (to the tune of hundreds of thousands) as a result of Trump's anti-immigrant policies, though I'm uncertain without trying to google it up. Sep 23, 2022 at 15:17
  • @Obie2.0 - The loss of 182 000 was for 2020, alone. "The numbers the state released Friday reflect California’s population as of January 2021." AP
    – Rick Smith
    Sep 23, 2022 at 15:19
  • @RickSmith - 2020...that would be the year in which a coronavirus pandemic caused hundreds of thousands of recorded deaths in the United States (and likely far more that were not recorded)? If that's the case, the amount that can be attributed to immigration to Texas is probably a lot lower than 182,000.
    – Obie 2.0
    Sep 23, 2022 at 15:21
  • 1
    There is an interesting if completely unscientific means to test the net direction of migration between Texas and Californyanya. Google up the one-way rental cost for a Uhaul from LA to Houston, and from Houston to LA.
    – BillOnne
    Sep 23, 2022 at 15:39

1 Answer 1


Q: Why does Newsom blame Trump visa policy for California population loss?

I see no indication that he did blame Trump's policy.

In "California leaving: State population declines for first time", May 7, 2021,

California has been steadily losing people to other states for years. From 2010 to 2020, about 6.1 million people left for other states and only 4.9 million arrived from other parts of the country, according to an analysis of census data by the Public Policy Institute of California.

That is an average loss of about 120,000 per year to internal migration.

In a normal year, California might have between 140,000 and 150,000 people move in from other countries. In 2020, it was just 29,000 people — a direct impact, state officials say, of the Trump administration halting new visas for much of the year.

Global lockdowns because of the coronavirus prompted a 29% decline in international students coming to California, or about 53,000 people.

While there are other factors: deaths from COVID-19, declining birth rate, etc., the larger share of the loss appears to be the decline of immigration and international students into California. These losses are directly related to visa restrictions.

  • The students would presumably be temporary residents, going home after their degrees.
    – BillOnne
    Sep 23, 2022 at 23:11
  • If you don't see Newsom blaming Trump then you need to watch the vid I linked. He very definitely blames Trump visa policy.
    – BillOnne
    Sep 23, 2022 at 23:12
  • @BillOnne - I hate listening to politicians! Where you see blame, I see noting. Basically, he noted that the biggest factor in the decline was "because of visa policies in the Trump administration". See at 10:24 with closed captions. For me to see blame, I would have to have heard a statement in opposition to the visa policy. I did several variations of web searches, but could find no reference in 2020 that Newsom opposed the visa policy. In any case, it was but one factor and not the entire reason for the loss.
    – Rick Smith
    Sep 24, 2022 at 1:18
  • "We're as dumb as we wanna be." Nope, he's taking credit for losing population.
    – BillOnne
    Sep 24, 2022 at 2:21
  • @BillOnne: "The students would presumably be temporary residents" It makes no difference if they are temporary or not. If they are residing in the state on April 1 of the year of the census, they need to be counted as part of the state's population.
    – user102008
    Sep 25, 2022 at 17:45

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