State Treasurer Kathleen Brown has joined Gov. Pete Wilson in supporting the idea of a tamper-proof identification card to help control illegal immigration, but the two potential gubernatorial foes differ sharply on the major purposes of such a card.
Wilson, in outlining his proposals Aug. 7 to curb illegal immigration, said a card should be provided to all legal immigrants so they could prove eligibility for public health care, welfare and admission to the public schools.
The Republican governor argued that such services are the major attraction to illegal immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexican border into California.
Brown, considered a probable Democratic candidate for governor next year, told a congressional committee in Los Angeles on Tuesday that she backs the idea of a tamper-proof Social Security card as a means of enforcing federal laws against employers hiring illegal immigrants.
Wilson’s proposals did not include employer sanctions.
Appearing before a subcommittee of the House Government Operations Committee, Brown presented a prepared statement on her proposal that the United States make it a condition of all treaties that convicted criminals who are in the country illegally be required to serve their prison time in their countries of origin.
In response to questions, she said she also supported the ID card, enforcement of employer sanctions for hiring illegal immigrants and much stricter enforcement of the Mexican border--with the help of military forces under the control of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, if necessary.
“Protecting the integrity of our borders is our first priority,” Brown said.
Next comes employer sanctions, Brown said, adding that most immigrants risk illegal border crossings because of the magnet of jobs in California.
Brown told reporters later that she opposes Wilson’s proposed constitutional amendment to deny citizenship to children born in the United States to illegal immigrants.