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Poizner Pushes For Tough Immigration During SD Border Tour

— Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Poizner toured the border crossing at San Ysidro today, coinciding with the release of a new television commercial focusing on his immigration plan and support for Arizona's recently adopted anti-illegal immigration law.

Poizner, the state's insurance commissioner, has called for eliminating government-funded benefits to illegal immigrants and requiring local law enforcement to report those who are arrested to federal authorities.

"If the Legislature blocks these reforms, you know turning off these magnets, then I will take a ballot initiative directly to the voters," Poizner said at a news conference at the border. "We'll fine tune it to make sure that it will withstand constitutional scrutiny and we'll let the voters implement these changes if the Legislature won't."

Poizner's opponent for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, former eBay Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman, opposes the Arizona law, saying a better solution would be to first secure the border, put in place an "economic fence" that would stop employers from hiring illegal immigrants, and prohibit cities from being "sanctuary cities," which do not enforce immigration laws.

Whitman also supports increasing penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants, conducting workplace inspections of businesses suspected of employing illegal immigrants and barring them from admittance to the University of California and California State University systems and community colleges. She opposes granting amnesty to illegal immigrants.

Both Whitman and Poizner launched commercials today pledging to be tough on illegal immigration.

In a radio advertisement, Whitman says "don't be fooled by misleading ads."

"My position on immigration is crystal clear," she says. "Illegal immigrants are just that, illegal." Former Republican Gov. Pete Wilson can be heard saying Whitman will be "tough as nails" on immigration.

In a 30-second television commercial, Poizner reiterates his plan to curb illegal immigration and his support for Arizona's illegal immigration law. The commercial labels Whitman a "liberal" who supports "Obama's amnesty plan."

"Only Steve Poizner will take strong action," a narrator says.

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