California anti-immigration bills struck down in committee

Two California immigration bills that some say were inspired by the tough Arizona law passed last year have recently died in a state legislative committee.

The bills were both introduced by Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a tea party Republican, according to The Associated Press. The main bill, AB26, would have allowed residents to file lawsuits against “sanctuary cities” – those that allegedly harbor illegal immigrants in violation of federal immigration law. If passed, the bill would also require employers to use a federal internet-based program, E-Verify, to check the eligibility to work of applicants for jobs in the company, according to the Orange County Register.

A second shorter bill, AB1018, would have required a similar check for those applying for public benefits.

Donnelly may not be giving up on the initiative, however. Assemblywoman Alyson Huber, D-Lodi, suggested that the bills be broken up into more manageable parts, and Donnelly told the AP he may take that advice.

“There’s room to build support on some of those provisions. Just because we lost in one committee, doesn’t mean the problem goes away,” he explained.