Whitman Wants Bigger State Voice On Immigration Policy

Whitman wants bigger state voice on immigration policy

By Jack Chang
The Sacramento Bee, August 18, 2009

Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman said Tuesday she supports toughening federal enforcement of employers who hire illegal immigrants and also expanding guest worker programs for farmworkers and highly skilled immigrants.

The 53-year-old former CEO of the online auction firm eBay laid out her immigration views while speaking to a crowd mostly made up of supporters at an El Dorado Hills home Tuesday.

'The next governor of California has to weigh in more heavily on federal immigration policy and enforcement than we have in the past,' Whitman said.

The federal government needs to tighten enforcement of the country's borders, she said, while raising scrutiny of employers.

'I believe ultimately we're going to have to hold employers accountable for hiring legal documented workers,' Whitman said. 'Because I think we can build a fence a million feet high, and the lure of the jobs will keep people coming.

'That means the feds will have to build a high-integrity database that allows you to find out if that worker you're thinking about hiring whether you're Genentech or a landscaper is truly legal and eligible to be here.'

Speaking for 45 minutes, Whitman also called for enforcing existing gun laws and regulating the private sector to prevent fraud and corruption. She didn't add to past statements calling for a broad reduction of state employee numbers.