Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Villaraigosa talks immigration reform in Washington DC

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa spoke about immigration reform Monday at the National Press Club in Washington.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is in Washington this week for the U.S. Conference of Mayors' winter meeting. But he’s been talking immigration reform all over town.

Villaraigosa was a guest on “Face the Nation” Sunday. On Monday, he addressed the National Press Club, outlining the steps he and fellow Democrats believe Congress must take to fix the nation’s immigration system. 

Villaraigosa said a "pathway to legal, permanent residency and citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants must be at the core of reform."

Responding to critics who want to clamp down on the undocumented in the workplace and cause them to self-deport, the mayor said there’s never been a case in history where 11 million people have self-deported.

Like other Democrats, Villaraigosa wants to replace the current E-Verify system, which checks citizenship status in a federal database. The mayor instead endorsed what he called an “effective and efficient” employment verification program.

The mayor says one in 10 Angelenos is undocumented.

He also laid out his six steps to reform in an opinion piece in Monday's Politico.

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