Feinstein Wants Weakend Enforcement Bill

OC Register

Sen. Dianne Feinstein said today she prefers a scaled-down immigration bill that tackles one or two issues rather the sweeping reform measure the Judiciary Committee will begin considering Thursday.

‘I’m very concerned that a bill that is too big is going to move and that it’s going to become a real lightning rod for enormous dissent,’ Feinstein told reporters. ‘My view is to go at this cautiously.’

Groups on both sides of the issue have intensified their lobbying this week.

The Minutemen, a group dedicated to border enforcement, sent a letter today to all 100 senators urging them to visit the border before voting on an immigration bill. The group opposes a guest-worker program, saying border security must come first.

Today, a coalition of hospitality industry officials and union workers will hold a rally at Union Station near the Capitol to urge broad reform.

Feinstein, D-Calif., who said she does not support the House bill, which only deals with border security and enforcement, reiterated her opposition to any new guest-worker program.

‘I haven’t seen a guest-worker program that I would vote for yet,’ she said. Feinstein believes it’s unrealistic to expect someone to come from another country with a family and after three or six years of working here be willing to go back to their home country.

‘I’m more concerned about the people that have been here, who have been good citizens, who have worked, who have paid their taxes and who work in agriculture,’ she said. ‘The industry that needs this labor is agriculture.’

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who met with Feinstein and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., to talk mainly about the levee situation in the northern part of the state, said the federal government must improve border security. And Schwarzenegger echoed remarks by President Bush about the need to match willing workers with employers who need employees.

‘Ideally we have a perfect situation where you have people who want to work and companies that need workers. So you have supply and demand. But how do you make that work is the big challenge,’ Schwarzenegger said.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Schwarzenegger will be voted out of office.

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