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San Diego Groups Weigh In On Proposed Immigration Bills

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San Diego Groups Weigh In On Proposed Immigration Bills
How California's Proposed Immigration Bills May Impact San Diego
How California's Proposed Immigration Bills May Impact San Diego GUESTS:Andrea Guerrero, executive director, Alliance San DiegoJoe Guzzardi, national media director, Californians for Population Stabilization

YOU ARE LISTENING TO MIDDAY EDITION ON KPBS. I AM TOM FUDGE. IMMIGRATION REFORM HAS BEEN A GOAL OF MANY AMERICANS WHO SEE OUR CURRENT SYSTEM AS TOKEN THAT THE RESPONSE OF CONGRESS HAS BEEN NO RESPONSE AT ALL. FEDERAL IN ACTION HAS CAUSED DEMOCRATS IN BOTH THE CALIFORNIA STATE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY TO PROPOSE A PACKAGE OF 10 BILLS. THE BILLS WOULD EXTEND HEALTHCARE, LEGAL RIGHTS AND BUSINESS PROTECTIONS TO IMMIGRANTS WERE LIVING IN CALIFORNIA ILLEGALLY. IMMIGRANT ADVOCATES SAY IT IS ABOUT TIME BUT CRITICS SAY THE PLAN IS EXPENSIVE AND UNWISE. JOINING ME TO TALK ABOUT THIS PACKAGE OF BILLS ARE ANDREA GUERRERO AND JOE GUZZARDI. ANDREA JOYCE WINSTED ISSUES EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF ALLIANCE SAN DIEGO. ANDREA, THANK YOU. JOE GUZZARDI TREISMAN BY PHONIES NATIONAL MEDIA DIRECTOR OF CALIFORNIANS FOR POPULATION STABILIZATION -- A SAN FRANCISCO-BASED GROUP. JOE THANK YOU VERY MUCH. ANDREA, WHAT YOU THINK OF THIS MOVE ON THE STATE LEVEL TO HELP OUT ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS? TOM THIS IS A WELCOME PACKAGE THAT SUPPORTS AND PROTECTS AND IT INTEGRATES IMMIGRANT FAMILIES INTO THE STRUCTURE, OUR SOCIETAL STRUCTURE AND OUR ECONOMY HERE IN SAN DIEGO. WE APPLAUD THE LEADERSHIP OF SPEAKER ATKINSON BRINGING THE PACKAGE FORWARD BECAUSE WE RECOGNIZE THAT IMMIGRANTS MAKE UP ONE QUARTER OF ALL OF US HERE IN CALIFORNIA AND WHEN WE PROTECT AND SUPPORT AND INTEGRATE IMMIGRANTS WHO ARE REALLY DOING A SERVICE TO ALL OF CALIFORNIA. A QUARTER OF OUR POPULATION ARE IMMIGRANTS BUT NOT NECESSARILY IMMIGRANTS WHO ARE IN THE COUNTRY ILLEGALLY? MAC UNAUTHORIZED IMMIGRANTS MAKE UP ABOUT 1 MILLION PEOPLE IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA. THEY ARE ROUGHLY A QUARTER MILLION HERE IN SAN DIEGO. WE HAVE TO RECOGNIZE IS THAT THESE UNAUTHORIZED IMMIGRANTS ARE PART OF MIXED STATUS FAMILIES MOST OF THEM INCLUDE US CITIZENS, LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENTS, THE SOLDIERS IN THE UNAUTHORIZED IMMIGRANTS THEMSELVES. TO FIELD IS THE WILL OF THE STATE TO OFFER THESE PROTECTIONS TO PEOPLE WHO ARE HERE IS VAGUELY? EVERYONE OF THESE BILLS BALLS WITHIN THE MANDATE OF THE STATE. THESE BILLS DO THINGS SUCH AS PROVIDE HEALTHCARE ACCESS TO IMMIGRANTS, SOMETHING THAT IS A STATE PROGRAM, STATE-MANDATED PROGRAM THAT IS EXTENDING THE ELIGIBILITY FOR THIS PROGRAM TO ALL PEOPLE HERE IN CALIFORNIA. I DON'T WANT ANYONE TO WALK AWAY THINKING THESE BILLS ARE PROVIDING SOME SORT OF SPECIAL PRIVILEGE TO IMMIGRANTS THAT OTHER PEOPLE DO NOT HAVE. IN FACT WITH THIS IS DOING IS EXTENDING THE BENEFITS AND PROTECTIONS THAT THE REST OF US ENJOY TO ALL IMMIGRANTS REGARDLESS OF THEIR STATUS. THE HEALTHCARE BILL IN THIS PACKAGE IS PRETTY SIGNIFICANT DENT CONTROVERSIAL. IT WAS INTRODUCED BY SENATOR. RICARDO LAURA AND EXPENSE HEALTHCARE COVERAGE FOR IMMIGRANTS HERE ILLEGALLY BY ENROLLING SOME AND MEDI-CAL. WHAT YOU THINK THAT IS NEEDED? TOM HAD THIS DEBATE NATIONALLY AND FIGURES ABOUT WHY UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE OR HEALTHCARE FOR ALL IS IMPORTANT. IT IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE IF WE'RE GOING TO PROTECT THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF OUR COMMUNITIES WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT ALL OF US ARE HEALTHY AND WELL. WHEN WE EXCLUDE SOME INDIVIDUALS FROM HEALTHCARE ACCESS THAT BECOMES A PROBLEM FOR ALL OF US. CERTAINLY IT IS A PROBLEM IN TERMS OF COST. THAT WAS MY NEXT QUESTION. IF WE ENROLL ALL OF THESE FOLKS AND MEDI-CAL CAN WE AFFORD IT? WE CANNOT AFFORD OTHERWISE TOM. WHEN WE SET UP A SYSTEM WHERE IMMIGRANT FAMILIES ARE DEPENDENT ON EMERGENCY ROOM ACCESS ONLY, THEN WE ARE DRIVING UP THE COST OF HEALTHCARE NOT ONLY FOR THOSE FAMILIES BUT FOR THE REST OF US. HEALTHCARE FOR ALL MAKE SENSE FOR IMMIGRANT FAMILIES SAID THAT MAKE SENSE FOR CALIFORNIA AS A WHOLE. IT IS COST-EFFECTIVE, HUMANE, COMPASSIONATE. ONE BILL IN THIS PACKAGE WE'RE TALKING ABOUT WOULD MAKE IT ILLEGAL FOR A BUSINESS TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST A PERSON ON THE BASIS OF THEIR IMMIGRATION STATUS. WHAT ABOUT DISCRIMINATION IN HIRING? YOU ARE REFERRING TO THE AMENDMENT OF THE ACT. THE -- ACT PROHIBITS BUSINESSES FROM DISCRIMINATING AGAINST INTERESTS BASED ON AFFECTED PERSON CALIFORNIA. ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT PROVISION OF SERVICES BECAUSE I THINK ANY BUSINESS WITH IT IS MY LEGAL OBLIGATION TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST PEOPLE WHO ARE ILLEGAL. I CANNOT HIRE THEM. THIS IS NOT A PROVISION OF SERVICES TOM. THE UNDERACTIVE SPECIFIC ABOUT THE PROVISION OF SERVICES OR IN THE ACTIVITIES THAT A BUSINESS WOULD CONTACT WITH THE GENERAL PUBLIC. THIS IS NOT ALLOW INDIVIDUALS TO PROCEED TO HIRE PERSONS WHO DON'T COMPLY WITH THE I-9 RULES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS. LET ME GET JOE GUZZARDI IN THE CONVERSATION. JOE YOUR GROUP IS NOT IN FAVOR OF THIS WRECKAGE OF IMMIGRATION BILLS. WHAT YOU TELL US WHY. FIRST TOM IF I MIGHT BACK UP JUST A LITTLE BIT TO YOUR INTRODUCTORY REMARK ABOUT TO TOSHIBA'S IMMIGRATION SYSTEM BEING BROKEN. THE RECENT IMMIGRATION SYSTEM IS BROKEN IS BECAUSE NONE OF THE LAWS ON THE BOOKS HAVE BEEN ENFORCED. BASICALLY SENSE 1986 WITH THE IMMIGRATION REFORM AND CONTROL ACT PASSED. ON TOP OF THAT, SINCE PRESIDENT. OBAMA TOOK OFFICE , THEY HAVE BEEN COMPLETELY UNDERMINED AND SUBVERTED IN EVERY CONCEIVABLE WAY. THAT IS WHY IMMIGRATION SYSTEM IS BROKEN. WE'RE TOTALLY OPPOSED TO THE BILL. IT IS ANOTHER OUTREACH TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. IS ANOTHER REWARD FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS ON TOP OF THE THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN BESTOWED BY GOVERNOR. DAVIS AND THE LEGISLATURE. DRIVERS LICENSE THE TRUST ACT. YOU SAID GOVERNOR. JAMES TO JIMMY GOVERNOR. BROWN ? I DID MEAN GOVERNOR. BROWN. GOVERNMENT -- I THINK ACTUALLY SINCE I MISSPOKE THERE , IS ALSO IN FAVOR OF EVERYTHING THAT GOVERNMENT DOESN'T GOVERNOR. BROWN IS DOING. BACK TO MY POINT. THIS FOR SURE WOULD ENCOURAGE MORE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION INTO CALIFORNIA. THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT WITH THE BOUNTIFUL CITY THAT CALIFORNIA'S IMMIGRATION LAWS AND FEDERAL IMMIGRATION LAWS GET IN MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA AND REALLY ALL AROUND THE WORLD'S , THIS IS JUST BE ANOTHER THING OR A PERSON CONTEMPLATING COMING TO CALIFORNIA UNLAWFULLY WOULD SAY WHY NOT. I CAN GET THE DRIVERS LICENSE, LOOK AT HIM -- EDUCATION NOW WILL GET HEALTH CARE. WE ARE TOTALLY OPPOSED AND THINK IT IS LONG OVERDUE FOR THE LEGISLATURE TO INTRODUCE BILLS THAT WOULD HELP CALIFORNIA CITIZENS AND CALIFORNIA'S LEGAL IMMIGRANTS WHICH OF COURSE INCLUDE HISPANIC AMERICANS. JOE WAS THE MISSION OF CALIFORNIANS FOR POPULATION STABILIZATION? ARE YOU ABOUT SLOWING DOWN IMMIGRATION? WE ARE ABOUT, WE WERE FORMED ALSO IN 1986. THE OBJECTIVE THEN IN THE OBJECTIVE IS STILL TO RAISE CALIFORNIANS AWARENESS ABOUT THE LINK BETWEEN OVERALL POPULATION GROWTH BOTH NATURAL BIRTHS AND IMMIGRATION INTO A STATE THAT HAS LIMITED RESOURCES, LIKE ALL STATES. WE ARE WORRIED THAT THIS BILL WILL ENCOURAGE MORE LEGAL -- ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION AND THAT WOULD LEAD TO MORE PEOPLE WHO WILL CONSUME MORE WATER AND JUST A BAD IDEA IN GENERAL. I WOULD LIKE TO SEE A LITTLE MORE CONCERN ON THE PART OF THE LEGISLATURE FOR CITIZENS AND LEGAL IMMIGRANTS AND A LITTLE LESS OUTREACH TO THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY. YOU ARE LISTENING TO MIDDAY EDITION I AM TOM FUDGE ARE TALKING ABOUT A PACKAGE OF BILLS THAT ARE PROPOSED IN THE CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE THAT WOULD EXTEND SERVICES TO IMMIGRANTS WERE IN THIS COMPETITION COUNTRY ILLEGALLY. ANDREA GUERRERO IS DEFECTIVE. OF THE LINE SAN DIEGO. JOE GUZZARDI IS THE NATIONAL MEDIA DIRECTOR FOR CALIFORNIANS FOR POPULATION STABILIZATION. ON TRAILER MAKE IT BACK TO BECAUSE I THINK THE THING JOE SAID MAY BE THE PRIMARY CRITICISM OF THE SET OF LOSS. SAYS THAT IF WE PASS THESE PROTECTIONS AND RIGHTS FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS THAT WILL MAKE CALIFORNIA DESTINATION FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO COME TO THIS COUNTRY ILLEGALLY. WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE? I THINK THE GENTLEMAN'S FROM THIS IS WRONG PROGRESSING THE LOWEST LEVELS OF UNAUTHORIZED MIGRATION ACROSS OUR SOUTHERN BORDER IN A LONG TIME. IN FACT COME IN THE SAN DIEGO SECTOR EACH AGENT APPREHENDS LESS THAN ONE PERSON A MONTH, LESS THAN ONE PERSON A MONTH. WERE NOT SEEING SEARCH IS NOW. WE HAVE NOT BEEN SEEING THEM FOR A WILD. THE PREMISE IS A DATED ONE THAT THE GENTLEMAN IS OPERATING FROM THE IRONY OF COURSE IS THAT WE HAVE SO MANY AMERICANS CROSSING THE BORDER SOUTH TO ACCESS HEALTH CARE THAT THEY BELIEVE IS MORE AFFORDABLE AND MORE ACCESSIBLE. I CAN SAY WITH TREMENDOUS CERTAINTY THAT NO ONE IS IMMIGRATING TO THE UNITED STATES LEGALLY OR ILLEGALLY IN ORDER TO ACCESS OUR HEALTH CARE. MEXICO HAS HEALTH CARE. OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE HEALTH CARE. THAT IS NOT THE REASON, WE KNOW THE MAJORITY OF THE UNAUTHORIZED POPULATION HERE IN THE UNITED STATES AND HERE IN CALIFORNIA HAS BEEN HERE FOR MORE THAN 10 YEARS. THESE ARE NOT NEWCOMERS. THOSE WHO ARE CURRENTLY ATTEMPTING TO ENTER WITHOUT STATUS OF THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN DEPORTED AND SEPARATED FROM THEIR FAMILIES. THEY USED TO LIVE HERE, THEY ARE TRYING TO REUNITE WITH THEIR FAMILIES. JOE YOUR RESPONSE TO THAT. THEIR APSLEY NO DETERRENCE IN PLACE WHATSOEVER ON ANY LEVEL, FEDERAL OR STATE THAT WOULD KEEP ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS OUT OF CALIFORNIA. I DISPUTE THE FACT THAT OR THE SUGGESTION THAT THERE IS NO ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION INTO CALIFORNIA. WE SAW ALL SUMMER LONG DELETE NEWS STORIES ON BOTH TELEVISION AND IN THE PRINT MEDIA WHERE THE CENTRAL AMERICANS CROSSING INTO CALIFORNIA AND OTHER BORDER STATES. THERE MAY HAVE BEEN SOME OF THEM THERE THAT WERE BEING REUNITED WITH THEIR FAMILIES BUT THERE WERE A WHOLE BUNCH OF THEM THAT WERE NOT BEING REUNITED WITH THEIR FAMILIES. THEY WERE NOT COMING FOR HEALTHCARE. THAT WAS A SEARCH THAT IS NO LONGER. HEALTHCARE WAS NOT BEING OFFERED AT THAT TIME. THE FACT AS THEY WERE COMING. THEY WERE COMING BECAUSE THEY WERE PLAYING CLINICAL PERSECUTION AND THERE ARE CURRENTLY NO -- THAT CLAIM IF I MAY SAY SO IS HIGHLY QUESTIONABLE IN MANY CASES. THESE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS WHO COME INTO CALIFORNIA ARE EXTREMELY WELL SCHOOLS IN WHAT TO SAY SO THEY CAN GET SAFELY CROSS THE BORDER. THEY KNOW IF THEY SAY, FEAR OF PERSECUTION OR I AM A DREAMER, THEY'RE GOING TO BE ALLOWED HIM. ANDREA WHAT TO SAY TO THAT? I JUST LOOKED UP THE BORDER PATROL APPREHENSIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 14. THE NUMBERS TELL THE STORY. THE AGENTS ARE APPREHENDING LESS THAN ONE PERSON PER MONTH, A TOTAL OF 12 PEOPLE PER YEAR. THIS ISN'T THE SUBJECT OF THIS RADIO SHOW BUT THE CONTEXT IS IMPORTANT IN THAT WE ARE NOT SEEN ANY PARTICULAR ATTRACTIONS THAT ARE DRIVING UP IMMIGRATION AND IN FACT SPEAKING OF MEXICO IN PARTICULAR THE ECONOMY IS STRONG THERE AND STRENGTHENING AND PEOPLE ARE NOT COMING. TO YOUR POINT ABOUT WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THIS PARTICULAR LEGISLATIVE PACKAGE, THIS PACKAGE IS ABOUT ALL OF US. IS BOTH CITIZENS AND IMMIGRANTS ALIKE. IS ABOUT LEAVING US FORWARD. SADLY WE HAVE RUN OUT OF TIME. WE HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT A BILL THAT WOULD INCLUDE PROTECTIONS AND SERVICES TO IMMIGRANTS IN CALIFORNIA INCLUDING IMMIGRANTS WHO ARE HERE IN THE COUNTRY ILLEGALLY. MY GUEST HAVE BEEN ANDREA GUERRERO AND JOE GUZZARDI. ANDREA IS THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF ALLIANCE SAN DIEGO. SHE JOINED ME IN THE STUDIO. THANK YOU. JOINING ME BY PHONE IS JOE GUZZARDI NEWS NATIONAL MEDIA DIRECTOR FOR CALIFORNIANS FOR POPULATION STABILIZATION, A SAN FRANCISCO-BASED GROUP. THANK YOU JOE.

State Democratic lawmakers this week announced an effort to extend health care, legal rights and business protections to immigrants living in California illegally.

Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins of San Diego, and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon of Los Angeles were among the Democrats who proposed 10 bills. They call their effort the "Liberty and Justice" package.

The package includes a bill by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego to protect immigrants from scams. Other proposals include expanding Medi-Cal coverage and establishing an office to help immigrants living in the state illegally with naturalization services.

Andrea Guerrero, executive director of Alliance San Diego, told KPBS the state could lead the way in immigration reform with this package of bills.

“This is a welcomed package that supports, protects and integrates immigrant families,” Guerrero told KPBS Midday Edition on Thursday. “We can’t afford otherwise. It’s humane. It’s compassionate.”

But Joe Guzzardi, national media director for Californians for Population Stabilization, said offering protections would encourage more illegal immigration.

“The reason the immigration system is broken because none of the laws have been enforced,” Guzzardi said. “We’re totally opposed to the bills. It’s another outreach to illegal immigrants. It’s another reward to illegal immigrants.”

The state majority's effort was announced the same week a federal judge refused to lift a temporary hold on President Barack Obama's executive action that would protect millions of immigrants from deportation.