NORTHWEST GLENDALE — Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani visited his campaign headquarters Tuesday in Glendale, speaking to supporters and calling for a new approach to immigration issues.
“I’m delighted to be in California . . . . And I think it’s worth making the point that we should really end illegal immigration and expand legal immigration,” Giuliani said.
He proposed changing immigration behavior, creating tamper-proof identification cards and giving people a legal way to come to the United States.
“I think that’s the best thing for the community,” he said.
Giuliani opened a campaign office in Glendale about two months ago, in part because he generates a lot of support here, said Jarrod Agen, a spokesman for the campaign.
“In the outskirts of Los Angeles and some of the suburban communities there, we generate a lot of volunteers, people coming in to do phone banks on a nightly basis,” Agen said. “And it’s worked out well for us to have people get in to that Glendale office, pick up supplies and come in to make phone calls on a regular basis.”
Since the office opened, the campaign has also seen support from neighbors in the area, he added.
“A lot of people stop by just because they’re curious, and we hope they will continue to do so,” he said.
Some Glendale residents in attendance said they turned out to learn more about Giuliani’s ideas and how electing him president might change the country.
“I’m interested to learn more about how he plans to improve the situation of immigration and make it more reasonable and legal,” said Trish Kopaitich, a Glendale resident and teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Many of the best students in Southern California schools are the children of illegal immigrants, but acquiring legal status for their parents remains a significant challenge, said Glendale resident Ericka Barnes, who also teaches in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
“There does need to be a system in place for that,” she said.
Giuliani fielded questions from reporters, who asked him to weigh in on issues such as the war in Iraq and the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike.
He expressed misgivings about talk in the press and the Democratic Party about an exit strategy from Iraq. Some pundits, he said, seemed to be demanding an exit plan even before troops went in to the region.
In regard to the strike, Giuliani said he was not familiar enough with the issues to comment.
Giuliani was scheduled to leave California on Tuesday, traveling east to appearances in Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Florida through the end of the week.
CHRIS WIEBE covers public safety and the courts. He may be reached at (818) 637-3232 or by e-mail at chris.wiebe@ latimes.com.