Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sacramento Bee: Illegal Immigrant Bills Die in Judiciary Committee

Assembly panel rejects bills on illegal immigrants

Published: Wednesday, Apr. 6, 2011 - 12:00 am | Page 4A
A state Assembly committee dominated by Democrats on Tuesday killed bills to require public officials to report suspected illegal immigrants and to prohibit employers from knowingly hiring the immigrants.

Freshman Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, an activist with the Minuteman movement, proposed an Arizona-style crackdown on illegal immigrants because he said the federal government is doing an inadequate job protecting the borders.

One of the bills killed by the Assembly Judiciary Committee, Assembly Bill 26, would have banned public officials and agencies from restricting enforcement of immigration laws. It also would have barred employers from knowingly hiring an illegal immigrant and made it a crime to transport, harbor, shelter or conceal a person known to be an illegal immigrant.

The measure was supported by a long line of witnesses, including tea party representatives, other anti-illegal immigration activists and victims of crimes committed by illegal immigrants.

It was opposed by Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley, Attorney General Kamala Harris, public defenders, the ACLU and immigrant rights groups.

Majority Democrats refused to support the bill, noting that the Arizona law is being challenged in court.
On a similar party line vote, the panel also killed Assembly Bill 1018, which would require state and local officials to verify the immigration status of a person requesting any public service. It was opposed by immigrant rights groups and labor unions.

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