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Supervisors Back Immigration Reform Plan Proposed by U.S. Senators

Riverside County supervisors compromise in order to approve resolution in support of "Comprehensive Immigration Reform," a proposal by eight U.S. senators.

After hearing passionate appeals on both sides, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday endorsed a "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" framework proposed by eight U.S. lawmakers.

"This is a bipartisan effort. It lays out a tough but fair roadmap to citizenship," said Supervisor Marion Ashley, who joined Chairman John Benoit in introducing a resolution calling for support of legislation being drawn up by Sens. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., John McCain, R-Ariz., Bob Menendez, D-N.J., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

The so-called "Gang of Eight" are drafting an immigration reform plan based on a set of legislative "pillars" specifying how illegal immigrants can gain citizenship and what must be done to fortify the nation's immigration policies.

The plan's general provisions seek to ease requirements for undocumented minors to be granted citizenship; mandate that adults seeking citizenship register with the government and undergo background checks before their applications can be considered; and allow employers to "hire immigrants if it can be demonstrated that they were unsuccessful in recruiting an American to fill an open position."

The senators also state their desire to strengthen border security and implement a national system by which all job applicants are screened to confirm they're eligible to work in the U.S.

Around 20 people on both sides of immigration reform addressed the board. Most of those in favor of Ashley's and Benoit's resolution spoke only Spanish and were affiliated with immigrants' rights organizations in the Coachella Valley and Perris.

"You cannot ignore millions of people living in the U.S. We work in the fields, picking everything. We work in construction, factories. Who takes these jobs? Only our people. Support the reform," Antonio Ayala of Perris told the board.

"A lot of the kids would make good citizens," said Josephine Lopez. "Please support this."

Raymond Herrera of Riverside lambasted Ashley and Benoit, accusing them of catering to the illegal immigrant lobby -- to the detriment of natural-born citizens.

"Deport anybody who is here illegally," Herrera said. "You're saying it's OK to displace my American children. It's not your job being given away. It's time to uphold the Constitution, not subvert it."

A woman identified as Robin said the supervisors' resolution promoted amnesty.

"We want our laws enforced," she said. "We don't need comprehensive immigration reform. We need comprehensive immigration enforcement. Our laws should be upheld and respected."

Benoit called the senators' proposal an "equitable resolution to a longstanding problem," while Ashley acknowledged it was a compromise not everybody would be happy with, but was still "the best chance for realizing change."

Supervisors Kevin Jeffries and Jeff Stone expressed strong reservations but agreed to back the resolution as long as there were amendments to it that reflected their concerns.

Stone's amendment, which the entire board accepted, read: "The county supports humane pathways to citizenship, but we call upon Congress to fully fund local governments' unfunded programs that provide services for undocumented immigrants in our jails, who are receiving healthcare and unemployment benefits, food stamps, educational benefits, etc."

The board also added Jeffries' amendment to the resolution, emphasizing the county's preference for criminal background checks on all illegal immigrants applying for citizenship and the nationwide use of E-Verify, a federal Internet-based program that relies on Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to determine whether a prospective employee is documented.

—City News Service

wigglwagon February 27, 2013 at 07:52 AM
The penalty for employers of illegal aliens should be mandatory sentences of $15,000 fines per illegal worker and 2 years in jail without parole per illegal worker. That and deportation of the illegal workers would put an immediate end to the problem. That is all the reform we need.
Jerry Simeon February 27, 2013 at 03:12 PM
"Illegal" and "criminal" obviously has no meaning in our society any more. The laws that have been on our court records and legislative amendments are pawns in a game for politicians. Our Judicial and Legislative system is a farce and is used to bludgeon the citizens of this country while illegals and aliens are treated like spoiled guests. "No human being is illegal"??.... being a criminal and illegal is always a matter of choice and in action. It is anti-establishment, anti-authority, and actions against the rule of law. Worst of all, the innocent has to pay the bills for all the bureaucracy, the militia, the equipment and resources to enforce and uphold the law.... now to act against the will of the "legal" people.
Vicki February 27, 2013 at 03:47 PM
To Antonio Ayala...only "your" people don't take those jobs you just do it for the crappy pay they pay you. Plenty of Americans will do those jobs but the employer knows there are laws they must follow when hiring an American. "Your" people then tell only "your" people and only hire "your" people. "Your" people are extremely racist and hire no one but your own. Racial nepotism in full force and language is just a pissy excuse. Your ppeople arent doing anything different than what has been done by many Americans just doing it in below pay and standards.
Jim Navarro February 27, 2013 at 03:58 PM
So now our Board of Supervisors are endorsing illegal activity! The smart thing to do would have been to stay out of this conversation, this is a federal/state issue, not county. It would have saved them allot of grief because now none of them deserve re-election, and their "endorsement" will be impossible to justify to voters. Sad day when what was for the most part a reasonably logical and common sense BOS now can't understand the term "illegal." Makes you wonder what other unethical, immoral, and illegal activity they "endorse." They chose this path, now they can live with it. I will make it a point to highly encourage anyone and everyone to keep them from staying in, or ever seeking another elected position.
SA February 27, 2013 at 04:56 PM
I love the fact that Illegals are gradually receiving more rights as citizens (sarcasm) … Come on Republican Politicians stand up and fight do not fold….
Susan Marsh February 27, 2013 at 05:05 PM
A very nice young man is unemployed, his unemployment benefits have run out. He has two children to feed and cloth. He is a good man, he wants to work, he has a good education. He is desperate to feed his children. He goes to the market to get food for dinner, he does not have enough money to pay for all the food he needs so he puts some of the food in his pockets, pays for the rest and leaves the store. He is stopped by security and found to have stolen food (to feed his hungry children). Should he be allowed to walk away free with the food? No, he can't walk free because he broke the law; a very clear law. If we allow him to break this law without consequence then others will do the same. Soon no one will feel the need to pay for food. This is not fair to the market, their shareholders or the employees who will lose their jobs when the store closes from lack of income. The same is true of immigration. There are very clear laws. When you break them you are a criminal, even if you are a nice person with good intentions. Do not make exceptions to the law, enforce the law equally for all. If you disagree with the law, start the process for changing the law.
TVOR February 27, 2013 at 05:39 PM
There should be no "path to citizenship" for those who have broken our laws. The should be sent back to their country of origin and be placed in the back of the line for legal status. This is one compromise our country cannot afford to make.
One Voice February 27, 2013 at 06:51 PM
We all point out valid opinions and we all agree that amnesty is not the answer and to give all those that broke the law and came her illegally a free ride is just wrong. What is even worse is that we are at the mercy of our Government to make this decision and do the right thing, how can this be done for what the people of our nation want when we have so many corrupt politicians making our decisions for us. This is so wrong in so many ways. There have been so many personal friends that have owned construction businesses, tree trimming companies that have completely been put out of businesses because of the illegals under bidding jobs. The illegals do not pay taxes they don't pay for insurance and a great deal of them send most of there earnings back to Mexico. Our Government will grant amnesty, it has been a long time coming because they have let this problem go on for way to long and they don't know how to fix it.
On the right side February 27, 2013 at 09:14 PM
Everyone posting so far makes a lot of sense. The libs must not be up yet. Illegal is illegal, plain and simple. Following the liberal thinking, maybe everyone should be allowed to pick a law that they don't WANT to obey? Fair is fair.
One Voice February 27, 2013 at 09:56 PM
Shane said: The illegal entry into the US, for first time offenders is a misdemeanor, with a max penalty of 6 months in jail. If they own no property the fine is always waved. Over 90% are just deported. Sooo.....AMNESTY is coming, because the cost to tie up the court systems with a complete deportation of 7-12 million people would not be something the US will spend that kind of money on. Estimates say it would add ten times to the deficit compared to what we pay now for them to be here......soon Conservos....they will have all the same rights you have.....don't you just hate it?? LOL!!! I'm sorry Shane I just don't find any humor in this and your reference that soon Cervos, they will have all the same rights as we have, you somehow relish in this idea, what's wrong with you?. You are an American and you somehow think that granting amnesty to all those that broke the law is somehow a slap in the face to conservatives!! That is some kind of twisted thinking.
Arthur Spooner February 27, 2013 at 10:01 PM
They don't have the same rights as you Shane??
TVOR February 28, 2013 at 12:26 AM
I want to live in your garage. I will move in there despite the no trespassing sign. I will expect you to provide for me and when you do, I will bring my family there too. I will demand more from you all the time, nevermind that it will become difficult for you to provide for your own family. When you are no longer able to support me and my family (who cares about yours?) I will sue you for denying me my "basic human rights". How do you like me now? Don't you wish you had kicked my worthless butt out when you could have?
DB February 28, 2013 at 01:57 PM
You must be so proud to live on the backs of criminal......my guess is you are one of them.......
SA February 28, 2013 at 05:23 PM
What I find interesting is that other countries will not allow foreigners i.e. “Americans” to move into their country unless the foreigner wanting to move has a substantial amount of money in the bank. When the current president (or whatever he is) took office I looked into moving to Costa Rica, and learned that an employer would have to prove that there is not a qualified Costa Rican to fill a position before a foreigner can take a job (unless it is for educational purposes)…. The aforementioned sounds good to me!
SA February 28, 2013 at 06:29 PM
I love it down there; we take annual surfing trips and stay at “The Place”. One day, I will end up there on a permanent status.
One Voice February 28, 2013 at 06:46 PM
Shane, why don't you just pay attention to what is posted here, there are how many postings all for deporting illegals and there is one post wanting amnesty, I'm sure that you'll be able to figure out who the one poster is, right?
Patty February 28, 2013 at 10:39 PM
COMPREHENSIVE immigration reform is necessary for our country. There are so many factors involved that you do not take the time to consider. For example potato harvests in Idaho that went bad because not enough people willing to do the job. We all want to eat don't we? They are here already it's not like you are going to get rid of them. Might as well have them pay taxes and do everything legally. Have them get drivers licenses (more money for DMV) insurance etc. I AM A Natural born US Citizen (child to US Citizens) and am a supporter of Imiigration Reform. We should all use a sense of sympathy and logic (like I said they are already here). I never post on these sights because I have better things to do but I am so tired of only Negative Comments it seems like people only post when they have something bad to say. I pray for all of you to stop stressing, start looking at tge positive side of things, and smile :)
DB February 28, 2013 at 11:33 PM
I 100% agree, reform is needed, it's just that everything I see is going the wrong way......
DB March 01, 2013 at 12:02 AM
Shane, I hate to say it, but they can make all the changes in the world, these people will NEVER have the same rights and privileges as I have. Right off the bat, they (as well as you) will NEVER qualify for Veteran benefits. My company is awarded DoD contracts because I am a Vet. They will never get the same job offers as I have, they will NEVER make the same money I make for the same job. If you think they will, ask your local women in business if she makes the same money as I do for the same job, ask a black person if they have the same opportunity as I have.....Ask any Hispanic person here legally with an accent if they have the same opportunity as I have? The answer will be NO across the board. I have made my business a place that non-English speaking people not only cannot work (if you do not speak my native language, you will not make it past the phone interview process with HR), they would not want to because nobody will speak to them in their native tongue because they would be fired if they do and they would not understand how to do their jobs because I document nothing in foreign languages, nor do I employee interpreters. There is your equal rights for criminals at work and in full legal practice, compliant with the DoD contract requirements. That is the reform this country needs. If they do not like it, then do not come here just as I would not live in their Country.
One Voice March 01, 2013 at 06:22 PM
DB: your post on Feb 28, @8PM, Thursday is well said and thank you, I being a business owner feel the same way and conduct my business the same. This is how everyone that is an American business owner building American made product shoul operate :)
TVOR March 06, 2013 at 07:40 PM
Amnesty is not immigration reform. It is a slap in the face of those people from other countries who go through the LEGAL process to immigrate here.

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