Congressman Brian Bilbray calls Arizona immigration law 'common sense'

Republican Congressman Brian Bilbray
Republican Congressman Brian Bilbray
Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Congressman Brian Bilbray’s San Diegan heritage, along with the fact that he is the chair of the Immigration Reform Caucus, makes him the GOP “go-to” guy for immigration, he said today.

“I grew up on the border,” the Republican Congressman representing California’s 50th District said today on Larry Mantle's AirTalk. “I have seen what’s going on.”

Bilbray said he supports Arizona’s controversial immigration law SB 1070 and thinks the Department of Justice’s law suit seeking to block the law is “frivolous.”

“The problem here is that people haven't read the bill,” said Bilbray in response to more questions about SB 1070. He argues if people read the bill they would find a lot of it includes “common sense things.”

Bilbray said Arizona took a step in the right direction two years ago by requiring employers to use E-Verify to check the legal status of potential employees. The same people who tried to block Arizona two years ago, only to have the courts side with Arizona, are contesting the state again, Bilbray said.

Also, immigration reform that would grant legal status to immigrants here illegally, without any lack of meaningful border enforcement, would create a new flood of illegal immigration, Bilbray said.

Bilbray continued, detailing the dangers of the US/Mexico border. “We’ve lost over 4,500 people at the border," he said, citing border-crossing deaths as one of the reasons he is against any sort of amnesty program.

Federal legislators need to concentrate on the "illegal employers who are exploiting the labor," Bilbray said.

Two-thirds of the way through the segment, Mantle switched the topic of conversation from illegal immigration to biofuels — specifically algae.

An excited Bilbray disclosed that he rarely gets to talk about renewable energy, and then launched into how he intends to take algae “from a scientific dream to a reality.”

“My frustration is seeing the government mandating ethanol. It robs your mileage and impacts your food,” Bilbray said, adding that we burn a gallon and a half of ethanol to every gallon of gas.

In addition to questioning the federal government, he called on local politicians not just to “write checks,” but to “be aggressive on moving to cleaner fuels.”

Mantle ended by asking if Bilbray thought the GOP would take the house.

“Voters will take the house away from the Democrats,” Bilbray said confidently. “The Democrats have lost it by being too extreme.” He hopes the republicans will learn from their democratic colleagues.

“It’s not good for Americans to think that either side does not have to work with the other side,” he concluded.