[UPDATE] Donnelly Pushes for Arizona-Like Immigration Bill

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly's (R-Twin Peaks) is rallying lawmakers to pass a strict immigration reform bill that would enact tougher enforcement on illegal immigration.

[EDITOR'S NOTE] The State Assembly's Judiciary Committee voted down TIm Donnelly's AB26 in 10-3 vote Tuesday. Another immigration reform bill, AB1028, requiring employers to verify legal status of prospective employees, was also rejected. 


A week after a committee rejected Assemblyman Tim Donnelly’s bill to prevent illegal immigrant college students from receiving tuition breaks, Donnelly was in Sacramento Monday rallying lawmakers to pass a strict immigration reform bill modeled after Arizona’s SB 1070.

Donnelly (R-Twin Peaks), who represents Glendora in the 59th District, is pushing to make illegal presence a misdemeanor, eliminate sanctuary cities and impose stiffer sentences for those caught trafficking illegal immigrants across U.S. borders. The proposed bill will also apply more pressure on employers to use a federal online system to run background checks on workers.

The Assembly Judiciary Committee will hear the controversial Secure Immigration Enforcement Act Tuesday at 2 p.m.

“We want to raise the public’s awareness on this issue, because it is an illegal issue and quite frankly, we need to start treating it as such,” said Gregg Imus, Donnelly’s chief of staff.  Imus said millions of undocumented immigrants are coming through U.S. borders unchecked, which the Pew Hispanic Center numbers at 11 million.

Imus said the bill differs from the Arizona bill on two aspects: anyone caught trafficking minors for sexual slavery would face life imprisonment and ten years would be added to a prison sentence to anyone found guilty of trafficking a woman into state borders and raping her.

The bill comes on the heels of Donnelly’s defeated AB63 that would have prevented CSU and community college students from receiving in-state tuition breaks.

The Assembly Higher Education Committee killed the bill in a 4-2 vote March 29.

According to current state legislation, undocumented students who have attended at least three years in a California high school are able to pay in-state resident tuition fees, which at e is $26 a unit. Tuition for out-of-state residents is $220 a unit.

There are 240 undocumented students currently receiving in-state tuition breaks, according to the college's enrollment office.

“This would have absolutely had an impact on these students,” said Dr. Jeanne Hamilton, vice president of student services. “Many of them are lower income students, and I have no doubt they would have not been able to attend school [if this legislation took place].”

The bill would have also allowed in-state tuition rates to transferred military members, regardless if they had not completed three years at a California high school.

“We believed that tuition breaks should be offered to our military personnel, especially since that opportunity is currently offered to illegal immigrants,” said Imus. “That is not right.”

The committee passed another similar bill drafted by Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield, D-Woodland Hills, which would allow tuition discounts for military families.

josephine cox April 05, 2011 at 04:37 PM
I am soooooo puzzled by this whole issue....what about the fact that ILLEGAL means that the law was broken....if you or I did something ILLEGAL we would be arrested and charged ..... oh, and by the way, can my children - who have gone to school from grade 1 tru 12 and were born here, can they get a tuition break? Supporting this has nothing to do with what country a person enters the U.S. .... it has everything to do with the fact that when they entered, they BROKE THE LAW! It's time to start obeying the law and enforcing it...
carolyn April 05, 2011 at 10:55 PM
Yes, I agree with assembly man Tim Donnally's bill, California needs to be strict like AZ. is....
Deb R April 05, 2011 at 11:11 PM
I think we have plenty of other more pressing matters that Mr. Donnelly needs to advocate on behalf of Glendora residents. Personally, I don't see an "Illegal" problem in our city. There are certainly more pressing issues such as rampant drug use at Glendora High, streets in dire need of repairs, schools in need of upgrades, senior citizens in need of assistance...the list goes on and on. I do agree that illegal immigration - by it's mere definition - means that a law has been broken. It is something that needs to be addressed but I would hardly call it the most pressing problem facing Glendora. Isn't Mr. Donnelly in office to respresent our city? Again, I am not trying to be difficult or dense, just uncertain why Mr. Donnelly felt compelled to make this issue more important than say - passing a budget, fixing our education system, pension reform, etc.
Bill C. April 06, 2011 at 12:37 AM
Considering how much illegal immigration costs the state, that would be us taxpayers, the issue is one that has been ignored for too long. All those issues you speak of Deb R., they would be helped if we had more cash to throw at the problems. Welfare benefits for the children of illegal immigrants cost Los Angeles County more than $600 million last year. This doesn't count other high cost items like education and incarceration. It's way over $1 billion a year when all costs are considered. The cost to our state is over $10.5 billion. I'm guessing there are many other causes that could use that money but as long as the liberal left runs this state we'll stay broke. There's an illegal problem in every city but people are too passive to do anything about it, at least Donnelly tried.
Deb R April 06, 2011 at 05:21 PM
I agree that we have a problem with illegal immigration Bill C., however, I don't think that it can and should be a "quick fix". It needs to be a comprehensive plan that makes sense. To throw money at a problem is not the solution either. The first thing to do is open up a dialogue. What is happening too often recently in politics is that it is a my way or the highway attitude. There is a lot of waste in government. There are many areas that need fixing. Immigration is absolutely among those issues that need addressing. What I disagree with, however, are the little digs that people throw at each other rather than to have a sensible, reasonable, dialogue. Your comment about "the liberal left" running the state and people being "too passive" are a bit presumptious on your part. You are making assumptions and assigning your labels. I am not doing that to you as I do not feel it is productive or warranted. To open the door to dialogue is to come with a truly open mind. You have your opinions and I have mine. We can agree to disagree agreeably. You may change my mind and I may change yours or neither changes their mind but at least I can understand where you are coming from and respect your position. That is what I think will help foster the kind of environment where these difficult issues can be resolved.


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