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Governor Brown Signs Bills Meant To Help Immigrants And Economy

Aired 10/10/11 on KPBS News.

Governor Brown Signs Bills Meant To Help Immigrants And Economy

California Gov. Jerry Brown.

Above: California Gov. Jerry Brown.

— The two bills faced Republican opposition and were passed right before the legislative deadline. Assembly Bill 1236, the Employment Acceleration Act of 2011, will not make it mandatory for private companies to use the federal employment verification system, or E-Verify. Assembly Bill 130, also known as the California DREAM Act, will make public financial aid available for the state's undocumented-immigrant college students.

By signing both into law, Gov. Brown fulfilled a campaign promise and sent the state lawmakers a pro-immigrant message.

"I think the governor signing both of these bills is an acknowledgement that immigrants are a crucial part of the great state of California," said Sara Sadhwani, a spokesperson with the advocacy group California Immigrant Policy Center in Los Angeles. "It's an acknowledgement that we have to both invest in our future economy as well as protect our current economy."

According to Sadhwani, not making E-Verify mandatory will have both short-term and long-term economic implications, helping the state's economy recover in industries like agriculture and food services which depend on immigrants.

By approving the state DREAM Act, Governor Brown makes a commitment to the future of young undocumented immigrants. California now joins 10 other states with laws that allow undocumented students to pay for higher eduction, including New York, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.

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Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | October 11, 2011 at 9:23 a.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

I don't know what's saddest: Our attempts to make it easier to come to the U.S. illegally (which is against the law), or the fact that Mexicans seem complacent to work in the fields picking fruit, working as dishwashers, handmaids, and the like.

I support making it easier to obtain U.S. citizenship, but I don't support the definition of Immigration Reform as a means of dropping our borders and making it easy for people to come any which way they can.

Why isn't the Mexican govenment working to improve their nation's economy? They're hundreds of years older than the U.S., yet is a Third World nation. Have they stopped to ask themselves why that is?

The efforts we make to make it easier for illegal immigrants in the U.S. to stay should be matched by the Mexican Government's persistence of improving their nation, but that doesn't seem to be the case. I've heard for years how the money illegal immigrants send home helps families back home. Rubbish! Their way of life has only gotten worse.

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Avatar for user 'juliecorrales'

juliecorrales | October 11, 2011 at 10:39 a.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

hmmmm... how can you say it is rubbish? how many undocumented immigrants do you associate with on a daily basis? Because i associate with many... and it is not rubbish. They continually send money south to their families. Why do you think Western Union and so many independent check cashing places offer wire services in Hispanic communities? Why do you think Walmart has started offering the service along with check cashing, advertising promotions for transfers to Mexico?
i do agree that Mexico needs to make improvements to the living situation of its people... unfortunately its long been deemed that the Mexican government is corrupt - they do not distribute the wealth obtained from its resources amongst its people (US does and although many people want to say its "socialism" - welfare systems, SSI, amongst other federal programs are what keep us from becoming a country like Mexico). I have a belief - and i've never expressed alound or in print until now - that the reform of Mexico is going to have to be influenced by us U.S. citizens with strong ties to the country... We will need to pressure that government... Until then, we do have a responsibility to our neighbor country... but MORE than that - whether ppl want to admit it or not - we are dependent on cheap labor. Undocumented immigrants have filled that need since the abolition of slavery... they are HAPPY to do it for a chance to create a better life for themselves and possibly give their children a chance at the American Dream... sadly, not only are they unappreciated, they are scapegoated and mistreated.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | October 11, 2011 at 11:04 a.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

@DAVID, I'm gald you support simplifying the path to citizenship. That is part of the problem I take the positions that Canadians and Mexicans should have priority and not have to wait and wait longer than say, Western Europeans.

That said, your next point goes off the deep end. Consider this latest bit of evidence. (Below) Your follow-up point is equally wrong. Undocumented workers have exapnded beyond agricultural and domestic work in the past twenty years. That is a fact. And on an anecdotal level, I once met a woman who was here without the proper documentation and she had a daughter at the time who was attending the University of Chicago. So much for her complacency, eh?

Farmers Strain to Hire American Workers in Place of Migrant Labor ... to iGoogle
You +1'd this publicly. Undo
6 days ago – Many American farmers are finding that the more they try to do something ... more local residents and fewer foreign laborers for his 1000-acre farm. ... was trying to figure out how much help he would need to harvest the corn ...

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Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | October 11, 2011 at 12:36 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

Interesting points.

I do deal with illegal immigrants and can't say I see them making improvements in their lifestyle (ie., learning English, going to school, seeking citizenship). That said, I know that is not a representation of all illegal immigrants, which is same as an undocumented immigrant. We have work VISAs for people looking for work in the U.S. to handle farm work and the like, but illegal immigration erodes that effort.

And it appears the money being sent to Mexico only allows Mexicans to peacefully co-exist with the status quo of abject poverty. I've heard many Mexicans say they feel their government is too corrupt to change. "This is the way it's always been here." That doesn't justify their behavior.

And I don't believe they'll accept U.S. influence as a means of improving their way of life. Mexican rugged-individualism will have to first subside, and that doesn't seem to be likely.

I'm the last person who wants to kick someone out of here (the U.S.) when all they're doing is looking for a better way of life. But our efforts seem to have only fueled people to come here illegally with no intent on changing their way of thinking, which is the first step to changing their country.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | October 11, 2011 at 12:52 p.m. ― 5 years, 5 months ago

Once we can no longer subsidize our own poor those jobs, being a superior alternative to starvation, will be filled. This is not a question of the nationality of the worker, but rather their expectations and motivations. Hunger is a great motivator, which we will relearn eventually.

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