California lawmakers say Monday's Supreme Court decision on Arizona’s immigration law is a wakeup call to Congress to act, but Democrats and Republicans have very different ideas about what should be done.
Democratic Congressman Xavier Becerra of Los Angeles said he got the Supreme Court’s message. "Our immigration system’s broken," Becerra said. "Gotta do something. Congress, get it done." Becerra supports comprehensive immigration reform, which includes a path to citizenship for the estimated 12 million undocumented people living in the U.S.
Republican Congressman Brian Bilbray of San Diego has a different immigration agenda: A guest worker program that sends farmworkers to their home country every year, universal adoption of the electronic E-Verify system to identify legal workers and elimination of tax credits for employers who hire the undocumented.
The two parties can’t even agree on why immigration reform is stuck in Congress. Becerra blames the GOP. Bilbray blames special interests.
"You’ve got a lot of powerful people in powerful places that have powerful friends that do not want this issue addressed," Bilbray said.
It's been a while since Congress tackled the issue. The last time Congress passed immigration reform... Ronald Reagan was in the White House.