Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Simi Valley), seeking to investigate immigration problems beyond Southern California, will travel to New York and Miami this weekend with other members of the congressional task force on immigration reform.
"We're going beyond the beltway to get a real look at illegal immigration into this country and to identify our best response to this crisis," Gallegly said in a statement. "We're not sitting behind desks in Washington talking about these things. We're going out and getting firsthand experience.
The three-day trip comes as the task force, which Gallegly chairs, works to meet a June 30 deadline for its report on how to control illegal immigration. Ventura County's other congressman, Rep. Anthony C. Beilenson (D-Woodland Hills), also serves on the task force but is not planning to make the trip.
In New York, the eight-member delegation will attend briefings at the Immigration and Naturalization Service's Asylum Office and at John F. Kennedy Airport's International Arrivals Building. The next stop will be at Miami International Airport, where seven lawmakers will receive briefings on the processing of Cuban, Haitian and Nicaraguan immigrants, as well as on drug interdiction efforts.
As part of the anti-illegal immigrant fervor now sweeping Capitol Hill, House Speaker Newt Gingrich created the task force to assist the immigrations subcommittee chaired by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas.) Smith will release his immigration package next week, and aides say that among his recommendations will be a crackdown on welfare payments to immigrants and a reduction in legal immigration.