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California Republicans push for state of emergency on immigration problem

[JURIST] Four California Republican lawmakers have announced that they will introduce legislation which would give California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger [official profile] the ability to declare a state of emergency along the border with Mexico. Current California law allows the governor to declare emergencies for war, epidemics, natural disasters, and "local emergencies." Assemblymen Mark Wyland [official website] and Ray Haynes [official website], and state Senators Bill Morrow [official website] and Dennis Hollingsworth [official website] say the measure is needed to combat a growing threat to public safety and increased costs of incarceration, education and health care. Schwarzenegger has previously praised the governors of Arizona [declaration text, PDF] and New Mexico [press release] for unlocking $3 million to combat illegal border crossings by declaring states of emergency, but cautioned that a similar declaration may not be necessary for California. Responding to the declarations in Arizona and New Mexico, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said earlier this week that DHS plans to increase its efforts to combat illegal immigration [JURIST report]. AP has more.

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