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Saturday, May 06, 2006

Illegal immigration and California's 50th Congressional District 

From North County Times:

A group of about 150 seniors finally got a chance Saturday to see a full-scale candidate debate, just one month before the June 6 runoff to pick a temporary replacement for the 50th Congressional District seat formerly held by Randy "Duke" Cunningham.

The seat has been vacant since late last year, when the Vietnam War hero pleaded guilty to his role in a massive scam in which he received $2.4 million in bribes to steer government business to two defense contractors. He is now serving an eight-year, four-month sentence in federal prison for those crimes.

Saturday's face-off between Republican Brian Bilbray and Democrat Francine Busby didn't disappoint, as the two hashed out their positions and criticized each other on everything from abortion and lobbying to illegal immigration....

Asked what he plans on doing about the problem of illegal immigration, Bilbray said he plans to continue to push for a crackdown.

"The House gets it," he said of a bill approved by the House of Representatives last year that focuses on beefing up the border and increasing penalties on those who employ illegal immigrants. That bill, however, makes no provision for a guest-worker program that would allow illegal immigrants to temporarily live and work in this country.

A competing Senate bill stalled last month that would have allowed many of the estimated 11 million to 12 million illegal immigrants living here to begin a path toward legalization, with certain restrictions and qualifications.

Calling that proposal nothing more than amnesty, Bilbray said it would have rewarded people for being in the country illegally.

"We need to crack down now," he said.

Busby said that she has yet to hear Bilbray make any concrete proposals for dealing with the problem.

"You can't just build walls ---- we've got the 'for hire' sign out, we've got the 'keep out' sign out," she said.

She blamed the current immigration crisis on the ongoing failure of Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform that protects the nation's borders and cracks down on employers, while not allowing illegal immigrants a pathway to legalization.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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