Religious leaders push citizenship for illegals

first_img“I have a lot of problems with the tier system,” Feinstein said, noting it also greatly expands the visa program. “I think that’s going to be very problematic.” Some members of the Southern California group that traveled to the Hill also met with aides to Rep. David Dreier, R-Glendora. Dreier has said he opposes amnesty, supports some type of guest worker program, and wants to see Congress address border security before immigration reform. “It seemed like the position was extremely convoluted. He didn’t want to make a lot of commitments to anything,” John Whitney, an organizer with First Presbyterian Church in Pomona, said of the meeting with Dreier. Dreier also offered to meet with the group personally in his Glendora office when they return to the West Coast, Whitney said. Dreier was a lead sponsor of the House bill that includes approval for 700 miles of fencing throughout California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Sessions’ version does not specify where the fencing would be, instead allowing the secretary of homeland security to designate high-risk areas. [email protected] (202) 662-8731160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsThe group met with aides to Sen. Barbara Boxer and had breakfast with California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who said she has serious concerns about the “three-tiered” system being debated. But both she and Boxer voted in favor of the fence. “Senator Boxer believes that we need to be doing more to strengthen the border, and she felt this provision made sense as part of a comprehensive plan,” her spokeswoman said. Under the plan, illegal immigrants who have been in the U.S. since January 2004 would have to leave the country and reapply for legal residency under a new temporary worker program. Those who have been here more than two years would be required to leave the country at a land-border port of entry to be fingerprinted and background checked. They could then return under the temporary worker program. Those who have been here longer than five years could be eligible to stay and apply for a green card. WASHINGTON – A coalition of about 30 Southern California religious leaders lobbied Wednesday in favor of citizenship for illegal immigrants and said the Senate’s approval of plans to build 370 miles of fencing between the U.S. and Mexico sends the wrong message. “Then do it in Canada, as well. The national security issue is in the northern border, not the southern border,” said the Rev. Ramon Cisneros of Sylmar, lay leader of the Presbytery of Santa Barbara in Goleta. Carolina Guevara, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, said the group delivered about 50,000 postcards to both Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and Minority Leader Harry Reid urging the passage of a bill that would create a path to citizenship. “We hope to harness the momentum from the marches into civic action,” Guevara said. “It’s symbolically a way to physically bring the voice of Angelenos to our capital.” last_img read more