The California State Senate weighed into the national immigration debate Friday with a unanimous resolution urging Congress begin comprehensive immigration reform.

California Republicans at a state level staked out a very different position than their counterparts in the South and Midwest, sponsoring a resolution that calls on Congress to find a way to accommodate rather than deport 11 million undocumented immigrants.

“Keeping these families, business owners, and hard workers in the shadows of society serves no one,” the resolution states. “Comprehensive immigration reform should include a reasonable and timely path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who are already living and working in the United States.

“Immigration enforcement should continue to focus on criminals, not on hardworking immigrant families, and not at the expense of efficient trade with two of our top three economic partners,” the resolution continues.

Republicans in the House and Senate have approved bills reversing President Obama’s executive orders on immigration, including the order allowing DREAMers — undocumented immigrants brought to America as children — to remain in the country. Democrats have filibustered the Senate bill, and it appears likely that the Department of Homeland Security will shut down on Feb. 27 because of the impasse.

The California resolution was authored and introduced by Sen. Andy Vidak, a Republican who represents Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare counties in the Central Valley. Co-authors are Republican Sen. Anthony Cannella from the Modesto area and Republican Assembly member Tom Lackey from Palmdale.

“Unanimous, bipartisan support from the California Senate should send a clear message to our federal colleagues that the time is now to work together to address an issue that’s been ignored for more than 25 years,” said Vidak.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.