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.


Dianne Feinstein poised to be new head of Senate Judiciary Committee

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) takes to Senate floor

Alex Wong/Getty Images

U.S. Select Committee on Intelligence chairwoman Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) speaks to members of the media after a hearing on the Benghazi attack last month. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The death of Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye has unlocked the seniority door at the U.S. Senate.  

California Senator Dianne Feinstein could jump committee chairs, putting her in a position to influence major legislation on gun control and immigration.

Feinstein currently serves as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which meets behind closed doors and only speaks formally to the news media once year. She also sits on the Judiciary Committee, chaired by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy.

But the death of Senator Inouye means there is an opening at the top of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Senator Leahy is next in line. Leahy said he'll decide Wednesday whether he wants to move over from Judiciary to Appropriations. And next in line at Judiciary is Dianne Feinstein.

Feinstein would be poised as Judiciary chair to champion two issues close to her heart: immigration and gun control.