Politics, government and public life for Southern California

House GOP members fear betrayal on immigration in conference committee

Kitty Felde/ KPCC

Former chief of staff to Nancy Pelosi John Lawrence talks about the power of a Speaker to shape legislation in conference committee

House Republicans meet Wednesday to talk about what sort of immigration bill they could support. Nearly half a dozen tough measures have passed various House Committees.

The Senate's already approved its version of immigration reform. What happens next depends a great deal on House Speaker John Boehner.

House committees are considering legislation that would create guest worker programs for agriculture and visas for high tech industries, require nationwide use of an electronic worker verification system, and allow local police to enforce federal immigration laws. None of these bills include a pathway to citizenship.

Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa - one of the harshest critics of what he calls "amnesty" for undocumented immigrants - said he's "concerned" about what could happen if the House leadership appoints a conference committee. That's when a group of legislators from the House and Senate come together to hash out differences between their bills.

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House Democrats stake out position on immigration ahead of GOP meeting

Kitty Felde/KPCC

Los Angeles Democrat Xavier Becerra speaks with the media after a closed door meeting of House Democrats on immigration.

Republican and Democratic members of Congress are holding closed door meetings on immigration. House Republicans meet Wednesday and House Democrats met Tuesday.

Los Angeles Congressman Xavier Becerra is the head of the House Democratic Caucus.

He said some Democrats are unhappy with the increased border security measures in the Senate immigration bill. But Becerra said House Democrats are united on one point:  they won't vote for any immigration package that doesn't include a path to citizenship.

"It makes no sense to try to say we're going to fix a broken immigration system and leave out the component that addresses the situation where some 11 million people continue to exist in the shadows," said Becerra.

House Speaker John Boehner said Monday that legalization needs to wait until there is "strong border security in place."
 

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Maven's Morning Coffee: Anaheim's voting system, trial delay for state senator, pension details made public

Voting booth

Sharon McNary/KPCC

An Orange County judge is scheduled to hearing arguments today on Anaheim's at-large voting system.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, votes and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

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Today is Tuesday, July 9, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

Mayor Eric Garcetti has directed the city's general managers to reapply for their jobs, reports KPCC. "I think it would be unlikely that 100 percent of the folks would return," he told reporters.

An Orange County judge is set to hear arguments today about Anaheim's at-large voting system, according to KPCC. The American Civil Liberties Union argues the system is unfair to the city's Latino residents.

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SEIU airing ads in GOP districts urging a path to citizenship

Military Leaders Testify On Future Of U.S. Armed Services

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Spanish language radio ads are running in Buck McKeon's Santa Clarita district, urging him to vote for an immigration bill that includes a path to citizenship. (file photo)

On Wednesday, Republicans in the House of Representatives will meet behind closed doors to debate what kind of immigration reform they can support. That comes on the heels of a Monday night meeting between GOP Senators and House members to discuss how to get an immigration bill passed.

Meanwhile, one prominent union has started running Spanish-language radio ads in the districts of four California GOP members, urging them to vote for a path to citizenship. 

The ads from the Service Employees International Union are running in 10 GOP districts nationwide, including those of Buck McKeon in Santa Clarita and Gary Miller in San Bernardino. The announcer says, "There remain extreme members of the Republican Party who continue to express harmful statements about immigrants, stigmatizing them as 'criminals' and 'takers.'"

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CA prisoners resume hunger strike to protest isolation units, gang management policies

Prisoner Hunger Strike

Paul Sakuma/AP

Demonstrators rallied in front of the State Building in San Francisco two summers ago to support prisoners at Pelican Bay State Prison. A new strike started Monday to protest the continued isolation of many prisoners.

Inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison launched a hunger strike Monday to protest the use of Security Housing Units as a way to break the power of prison gangs.

Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for California's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said 30,000 inmates refused their morning meal Monday. The department will only recognize a hunger strike when an inmate has refused nine consecutive meals. Also on Monday, 2,300 inmates declined to work or attend class.

California isolates 4,500 inmates from the general prison population in Security Housing Units at four prisons, but those at Pelican Bay face the most severe form of confinement.  The super max's so-called "short corridor" restricts prisoner to their cells 22 1/2 hours a day.  Inmates leave their cell only for exercise in a high-walled concrete yard, to shower, or for medical appointments.  They are allowed no phone calls and can only visit with family separated by a glass partition.

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