Figures doesn’t it? It looks as if California Republicans are attempting to make immigration the wedge issue for the 2008 election year. Rather than make tough choices, Republicans have introduced twenty plus new laws to reign in immigration and perpetuate the idea that all our budget woes can be squarely blamed on illegal immigrants.Ã‚Â And of course they had to use the term “loopholes”, which I guess excludes yacht owners and large oil companies.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Both Republicans and Democrats are getting pressure on the budget issue, and there are a lot of programs that have to be cut,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Assemblyman Jim Silva, who organized the plan and news conference. Ã¢â‚¬Å“What weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re trying to do here is take out the loopholes in the budget process where weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re losing money and make sure it goes to the citizens of California.Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ¢â‚¬Å“The state is in a financial life raft that is sinking,Ã¢â‚¬Â he added. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The California Assembly Republicans have now offered a number of solutions.Ã¢â‚¬Â
…Silva hopes that his bill, which would add Ã¢â‚¬Å“illegal immigrationÃ¢â‚¬Â to the list of situations in which the governor may declare a state of emergency, would provide additional funding for the stateÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Border Patrol operations.
But according to the Public Policy Institute of California most Californians “positive about immigration”.
Californians are basically positive on immigration with a majority of state residents (59 percent) saying immigrants are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills, compared to 34 percent who say they are a burden because they use public services.
The results are from a survey this month by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California.
Belief that immigrants benefit the state has increased substantially over the past decade: In 1998, only 46 percent of Californians held this view.
“Conventional wisdom would predict that attitudes about immigrants would deteriorate as economic conditions worsen, but that hasn’t happened recently,” says PPIC president and CEO Mark Baldassare.
What about attitudes toward illegal immigrants? Here again, state residents take a positive view.
Two-thirds (66 percent) think illegal immigrants should be allowed to apply for work permits that would let them stay and work in the United States, about the same percentage as one year ago (64 percent).
Strong majorities of Democrats (73 percent), independents (62 percent), and likely voters (60 percent) believe that illegal immigrants should be allowed to apply for work permits, while Republicans are divided (48 percent should be allowed, 50 percent should not).
Taking it a step further, seven in 10 Californians (72 percent) think most illegal immigrants who have lived and worked in the United States for at least two years should be given a chance to keep their jobs and apply for legal status; only one-quarter (25 percent) believe these immigrants should be deported.
This attitude is shared by majorities across all political parties (Democrats 80 percent, independents 72 percent, Republicans 52 percent) and among likely voters (65 percent) and is unchanged since December (72 percent).
Anyone else surprised? Obviously more Democrats view immigrants in a positive light according to this survey but shockingly, 52% of Republicans also have a positive attitude. Why then are Republicans proposing new laws that could potentially overlap with existing laws and not talking about enforcing the laws we already have to deal with illegal immigration in the State of California? enacting these 22 new laws will also add more levels of red tape and bureaucracy for many services that are already over taxed by paperwork. And I haven’t been able to track down any estimated savings these new proposed laws will result in.
Republicans also refuse to budge when it comes to tax hikes as a means to balance the State’s budget. As many know, Education is set to take the brunt of the sacrifice in order to balance the budget at the cost of our Children’s best interests. Of course, Republicans believe that pandering to the idea that taxes are bad, all taxes and they should be avoided at all costs is just one way they are out of step with the majority of Californians.
More Californians are willing to consider tax increases as part of a strategy to trim the budget deficit in the nation’s most populous state, according to a poll released late on Wednesday.
In a survey of 2,002 Californians between March 11 and 18, the Public Policy Institute of California found 68 percent describing the state’s budget situation as a big problem, and 42 percent saying they favored a mix of more taxes and spending cuts to address the issue.
So, where is the disconnect? Is it just easier for Republicans to go back to the old standby of immigration as ultimate evil rather than attempting to approach the issue in a different manner? It’s obvious that most Californians are prepared to make those tough choices, why can’t our elected officials do the same?