Will Vaccine Passports Hasten California Exodus?

Orange County is testing a digital vaccine passport, but so far, there’s been no movement at the state level to require all Californians to present their papers to freely move about. Meanwhile, Texas, Florida, and Idaho have banned vaccine passports. Other red states are likely to follow. Should Sacramento decide to demand passports, will it be yet another reason to leave a state that is already losing residents and businesses?

The state has dropped some hints about its intentions with its announcement that by June 15, businesses “may return to usual operations … with limited public health restrictions, such as … testing or vaccination verification requirements for large-scale higher-risk events.” Add to this California’s status as the state that had the strictest lockdown policies, and it’s reasonable to expect policymakers to eventually require proof of immunization.

At least Republican Assemblyman Kevin Kiley of Rocklin thinks that’s the plan. He’s writing legislation to block passports.

“You shouldn’t have to provide personal health information to go about your daily activities. I think that would be a very dangerous thing, it goes against fundamental notions of privacy and liberty and it’s not a road we want to go down,” he said.

As would be expected in our all-politics-all-the-time era, the lines are drawing themselves over vaccine passports. Some believe they “may help us move past the pandemic,” as J.D. Tuccille of Reason says, but, he adds, there’s also concern they could “add new intrusiveness and frustration to our activities.”

Will Californians who feel frustrated and intruded upon for having to show their papers say “enough” and move Texas, Florida, Idaho, or other states that will ban vaccine passports? The rest of the country is already home to a multitude of former Californians who left the state due to choking taxes, excessive housing and energy costs, poorly performing schools run by teachers unions, overwhelming homelessness, extreme cost of living, near-permanent drought and runaway wildfires, and a creaking infrastructure – all of it rooted in fourth-rate public policy. For some, a mandated certification just might be the policy that breaks them, or as Kiley has tweeted, the “last straw for many Californians.”

Responses (granted, they make up a small sample size) to Kiley’s tweet suggest that for quite a few, the edge is near:

  • “100% spot on. Precisely what I told our (real estate) agent.”
  • “That or permanent mask mandates and we are out of here.”
  • “Absolutely. Saving up to leave.”
  • “With this insanity in California … Plans are ahead of moving out! The ‘golden’ state has a bad ‘spirit.’”
  • “We will fight this, and not comply. Move away, if needed.”
  • “I’m 100% out if that happens.”
  • “As a business owner here in CA, I’m not prepared to leave quite yet. But I want to. And I will.”

Not all agreed with Kiley. Many were critical of his statement and of those who agreed with him or “liked” his comment. But a clear winner emerged from the dark cloud that is almost any Twitter thread on any given day. The man who wrote “pretty sure the last straw should have been the ban on real straws” summed up well a mood that might be behind California’s recall fever.

Kerry Jackson is a fellow with the Center for California Reform at the Pacific Research Institute.

This article was originally published by the Pacific Research Institute.


  1. Stupid liberals try to strike again!! Just saw yesterday that “vaccine” cards are showing up on Craigs List and eBay. But THAT fraud will not stop the Sacto dum dums from trying to control us further!

  2. People LOVE being sheep. Slavery is better than freedom. That way, you do not HAVE to think. We deserve, 100% what is happening to us. We have only ourselves to blame. As I tell people and I say this often,” Twenty people CANNOT do the work of twenty million. ALL HANDS ON DECK is a phrase that sadly, a majority of people ignore.

  3. April Allegro says

    We must have the right conservative governor now for this reason and so many more!! Hrenell.


  5. Michael Shaw says

    People I know can’t get out of this state fast enough. For some, it’s nearly impossible. It’s hard when you have property, relatives, kids in school, financial commitments, are elderly. Then if you have a job, that has to be worked out too. We know because we’re leaving CA for NV and it isn’t easy. But we’re determined and that’s what it takes. There are sacrifices you have to make that aren’t fun or cheap. But we’ve had it with this state. It’s no longer a good place to live.

  6. Chris Renner says

    So glad we left the state right after the virus, um sorry… unscientific government restrictions, began. If you’re leaving California, though, don’t bring your liberal ideas with you. John Galt does not live in Cali anymore.

  7. At some point the People have to be willing to stand up and say the government has gone far enough, and they won’t take it any more. If there are new mask mandates, if enough people refuse to wear one while outdoors, the government will have to give that unscientific issue up. If you are restricted going from city to city or state to state by some “vaccine passport”, use back roads where there are no checkpoints. Government can only control the people to the extent the people allow it. The more our freedoms are eroded, the more perhaps people will start to realize how precious freedom is, and worth protecting even at the cost of universal safety.

  8. Linda Diehl says

    Older CA taxpayer here (transplant from TX for family care). Question: Vacs are STILL Emergency only and NOT if I refuse. CAN they lock me down w/out ‘required papers’ law so I canNOT leave…..? WHERE IS OUR SUPREME COURT??
    I have valid health concerns about CV-19 vacs, BUT because there are ‘experts’ that say it’s okay to get zapped anyway, so he recommends. I have NEVER had ANY symptoms. If this does become law….. I WILL find a way to leave but I will NOT be zapped because Falssi and Gates need even MORE money and control!! Does ANYone know a good lawyer who can help me IF this comes to pass….??

  9. The Naxi’s demanded travel papers.
    The Communist in many countries demand travel papers
    Dictators demand travel papers.

    So what now is the difference between Democrats proposing travel papers?

  10. DENNIS WOLLEN says

    The only people that will have to prove they have been vaccinated will be AMERICANS……..

    the ILLEGAL ALIENS will not have to prove ANYTHING…..

  11. Pure Communism!
    Don’t think this will not be used for nefarious purposes. It will!
    Government needs to back off they are getting into our lives too much.
    With regulations, taxes and fees, dictatorial edicts, corrupt ballot boxes, bad schools, and just the failure of the state government to do the job citizens require of them. Incompetence comes to mind.
    Leaving the citizen with insufficient energy, water, and most of all leadership.
    I need to figure out how to leave this Marxist state!

  12. A very big goal of the communist democrats is the riddance of the middle class. The “papers” are another tool used to that end.

  13. Chris Renner says

    So voting in California won’t require an ID to vote but it will require a vaccine card.

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