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SD Congressmen React To Arizona Immigration Law

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Video published July 9, 2010 | Download MP4 | View transcript

Above: Where do our local congressional representatives stand on Arizona's controversial illegal immigration law? We asked Republican Brian Bilbray, and Democrat Bob Filner, to give us their take on the Arizona law, and the federal lawsuit challenging it.

AMITA SHARMA (Host): The Obama Administration sued Arizona this week over a law that requires police to question and take into custody those who cannot show they are legal residents. The U.S. Justice Department says Arizona's law should be thrown out because immigration policy is the exclusive responsibility of the federal government. We asked two of our local congressional representatives to give us their take on Arizona's controversial immigration law. Here's Republican Congressman Brian Bilbray.

BRIAN BILBRAY (Congressman): We have local law enforcement enforcing federal law all the time. Bank robbery is a federal law. No one in their right mind would expect local law enforcement to not respond to a bank robbery. We have Operation Stone Garden right here in San Diego County. Our local law enforcement responds to the boats that are landing here in Leucadia and Encinitas. We don't tell those officers "oh you've got to look the other way" or you can't participate in Operation Stone Garden. So this is really kind of selective realism here. We've got to tell local law enforcement, you get to enforce the law when it comes to immigration, just like you would bank robbery, just like you do with drug smuggling, just like you do with everything else. We're not going to ask you to turn a blind eye to one segment of the illegal activity, when we expect you to take care of it all.

SHARMA: Democratic Congressman Bob Filner is opposed to the Arizona law, and supports the lawsuit challenging it. But he does agree with many Americans who believe the federal government should do more to address the issue of illegal immigration.

BOB FILNER (Congressman): I have to agree with those who say the Feds aren't doing their job, and I understand the frustration. But we need a comprehensive immigration reform to do that…that involves more border security that allows more effective way for people to come in here legally and work, and gives some path toward legality to those who have been here for decades. But that frustration we have to take out at the federal level, and force congress and the president to do our job. But the federal laws are given to enforce by the federal authorities. And, they are trained to figure out when to ask, and when not to ask, and the rules of engagement as it were. Local authorities are just going to be racially profiling, and they're just going to stop those who look like they are Hispanic.

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Avatar for user 'CalPatriot'

CalPatriot | July 9, 2010 at 9:57 p.m. ― 6 years, 8 months ago

Does Bob Filner think that local authorities (police) are not capable of enforcing immigration laws? Is the Border Patrol the only group capable of this? No wonder we are in such deep trouble on the Mexican border. Of course, Bob doesn't want enforcement by anyone. The border must be secured first, then we can worry about the rest.

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Avatar for user 'kijafha'

kijafha | July 10, 2010 at 7:29 a.m. ― 6 years, 8 months ago

How come Jewish politicians, like Filner, so consistently support open borders and criticize immigration enforcement? I heard the Jewish lobby was supporting open borders and I figured that was just anti-semite paranoia but I don't think so anymore. There's a lot of very rich Jews, I don't see what they would be gaining from this.

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Avatar for user 'dherrer1'

dherrer1 | August 11, 2010 at 10:24 a.m. ― 6 years, 7 months ago

I am so sick of all these politicians who don't want to really solve this issue of illegal imigration. I think it is very clear that the reason all these come come here is to work...that's it..not to become americans..just to work because in Mexico the government has abandonn them. The reality is that lots of americans are motivated by GREED and only GREED. The solution is clear and it is not buildind a Berlin wall along our southern border. These people will find ways around, over, or under it!!! The real answer is a National ID card and enforcment of our labor laws. We need to make it more riskier for people to employ these people then not too. Once we do this most of the issues will go away or solve themselves. Mexicans come here for jobs, once they can't get them they will stop coming and many here will choose to go home. The fact is that MANY AMERICANS benefit from these people and once we decide to deal with the real issue we will solve it.

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