Tea Party activist, Michael Erickson was successful in moving his illegal immigration enforcement idea to the signature collection process. The California ballot initiative called “Support Federal Immigration Law Act” which closely mirrors Arizona’s SB1070 immigration law would require law enforcement officers to check suspected illegal aliens for immigration status.
According to the bill’s author, the proposed-immigration law will expand police officers ability enforce immigration laws when they have a reasonable suspicion that a person is undocumented and/or committing other crimes.
The proposed law would also make it a crime for illegal aliens to seek employment while concealing their illegal resident status.
While most complain the illegal aliens are protected from the enforcement of federal immigration laws, Erickson says his law would also target employers who “intentionally or negligently” hire illegal immigrants.
This issue recently played out in the California Gubernatorial race when Republican Meg Whitman, who went through legal channels and hired an employment service, found out years later her housekeeper was in the country illegally. The housekeeper, Nicky Diaz-Santillan, lied as well as forged counterfeit documents to con the employment agency and the Whitman family to procure employment.
The end result of this legal ruse was a Whitman loss and her household was forced to pay the illegal alien $5,500 for uncollected wages (she was making $23/per hour). Ironically the illegal alien has yet to face any criminal charges for fraud, perjury and residing in the state illegally.
The “Support Federal Immigration Act” would allow legal residents to sue government agencies, law enforcement or cities who attempt to provide “sanctuary status” to known illegal aliens.
California Secretary of State, Debra Bowen cleared the last hurdle for the initiative to begin the signature collection process this week. Authors will now need to collect at least 433,971 signatures from California registered voters by April 21, 2011, in order to make the ballot for the 2012 elections.
Riding the recent Tea Party wave, Erickson hopes voters will speak at the voting booth during the 2012 election cycle. The initiative will rely on volunteers from the Tea Party network which delivered stunning results during the midterms and promises to make 2012 just as successful, to get the required signatures.
The success or failure of this strict immigration measure will test the will of Californians, many of whom are outraged by the unresolved budget crisis ($20 billion in the red). Yet the recent midterm elections saw a sweep for California Democrats and made the state somewhat of an anomaly as Republicans across the country were elected into power by historic proportions.
Learning from Arizona’s law, Erickson’s California proposal states that law enforcement must verify immigration status “in a timely manner at the scene of the stop or detainment” and has to get the information from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or other federal agencies in a position to provide legal status documentation.
Erickson explained he decided to introduce the immigration initiative in California before a decision is made by the 9th Circuit Court on Arizona’s SB1070 law because his supporters are worried about the possible spillover effects.
“Our concern is with the possibility, if not probability, of an increase in not only illegal immigration in California but with a drug infestation, in part because Arizona is cracking down in their state,” Erickson explained.
However, open-border/amnesty organizers are well-funded with the support of La Raza, and will aggressively thwart any tough illegal immigration measure that finds its way on the 2012 election ballot.
One group from Los Angeles, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles said they did not believe Californians would support any tough illegal immigration plan. Angelica Salas, executive director of the organization said Californians have voted down many similar bills during the past 10 years, most have failed to even make the election ballot.
"What we saw on Nov. 2, those candidates who dabble with racism, xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiments and policies, lose badly in statewide elections," Salas finished.
With state of California in the middle of the seemingly endless financial crisis, Erickson hopes to change the minds of the voters; otherwise it is a real possibility that California will be the first failed state.
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